A 76-year-old Japanese mother has been arrested after she called the cops to ask about what to do with her son’s rotting body in the apartment they shared, police said.
Authorities received the request from the woman, identified as Toshiko Ujibe, on Monday and rushed to her apartment in the Asaminami neighborhood of Hiroshima.
The fire department first responded to the call. When the police came shortly after, they could smell the body’s decay upon arrival.
Officers found the body of the woman’s 53-year-old son, Kenji, lying on a futon in his room, with multiple cuts on his neck. Investigators are now looking into why Ujibe may have not reported her son’s death sooner, said Hisaru Uemoto, a police officer working on the case.
“She seemed confused and didn’t know what to do, but we aren’t able to announce her motives in not reporting until we are able to confirm further details,” Uemoto told VICE World News.
“When the police took in the body and conducted initial screenings, we found that her son likely died 10 or so days earlier, in mid-May.”
He said that the cuts would have to be quite deep to indicate any murderous intent, but said they have to wait for the autopsy results.
Ujibe was arrested on suspicion of violating a law prohibiting a person from damaging, abandoning, or possessing a corpse. She faces a maximum sentence of three years’ imprisonment. Contact information for her or her lawyer were not available.