World

Japan woman claims she dumped babies in buckets filled with concrete

TOKYO A mother who kept the bodies of four of her babies in buckets of concrete for two decades was arrested in Japan yesterday.

Mayumi Saito, 53, told investigators she had given birth to the infants between 1992 and 1997, a police spokesman told AFP.

Saito handed herself in at an Osaka police station on Monday and confessed, saying she did not think her financial predicament made it possible for her to look after the children.

Detectives found four concrete-filled buckets in a closet at her home. Scans indicate that each contains what appears to be the remains of an infant, the Asahi Shimbun reported.

Police are still interviewing the woman, who lives with her son, and trying to determine whether she killed the babies or whether they were stillborn, the report said.

It is unclear why she turned herself in now, local media said.

Saito came forward three weeks after police arrested Takahiro Shiraishi, 27, dubbed the "Twitter killer", who confessed to killing and dismembering nine people he met via social media.

Investigators found him in his apartment just outside Tokyo surrounded by the festering remains of his victims inside coolers and containers. - AFP

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