Couple Arrested on Suspicion of Causing 5-Year-Old Daughter’s Death by Exposing Her to Cold Shower for Prolonged Period; Girl Later Died from Acute Circulatory Failure Due to Hypothermia

A couple were arrested in Aomori Prefecture on Thursday on suspicion of causing the death of their daughter by exposing her to cold water for an extended period and then failing to properly care for her, police said. Following the incident, the 5-year-old girl died from acute circulatory failure due to hypothermia.

The Aomori prefectural police arrested the girl’s mother, 21, unemployed, and her boyfriend, 31, unemployed, who lived with her in Hachinohe, Aomori Prefecture. They are charged with inflicting injuries resulting in death. The girl had multiple bruises on her body, leading police to investigate if the couple had abused the girl daily.

The couple are suspected of exposing the girl to cold water from the shower in the bathroom of their home for a period of time from around 5 p.m. to around 9:30 p.m. on Jan. 7, resulting in her death. Police have not disclosed whether the suspects admitted to or denied the allegations.

According to investigators, the couple exposed the girl to the cold water for a prolonged period of time, though they did not elaborate on how long.

Shortly after 9:30 p.m. on the day of the incident, the couple called an ambulance, as the girl was “unconscious and not breathing.” When paramedics arrived, the girl had suffered cardiopulmonary arrest, the police said. The autopsy revealed the cause of death was acute circulatory failure due to hypothermia.