Elderly Woman Asks Cops What to Do With Son's Rotting Corpse, Gets Arrested

An 76-year-old Japanese woman has been arrested after she called the police and asked them what she should do with the rotting corpse of her son.

Toshiko Ujibe called the police at around 7:40 a.m. on Monday to the apartment she shared with her 53-year-old son Kenji, according to Sora News 24.

It reported that during the call she referenced the smell of the corpse, and said she did not know what to do about the body.

Police officers alongside members of the local fire department headed to the scene, in the Asaminami neighborhood of Hiroshima, Japan.

After entering the apartment, the officers discovered Kenji's decaying body lying on a futon in his room. There were multiple cuts visible on his neck.

The authorities arrested Toshiko Ujibe and are investigating why the 76-year-old did not report her son's death to the police sooner than she did.

Hisaru Uemoto, a police officer working on the case, told Vice World News on Wednesday: "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.

"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."

The officer said the depth of the cuts indicated that there may have been an intent of murder—but clarified that the authorities will need to wait for autopsy results before coming to a conclusion on the death.

Sora News 24 reported that the 76-year-old is not currently a suspect in her son's death and has only been detained for not reporting his dead body earlier than she did.

She has been arrested on suspicion of damaging, abandoning, or possessing a corpse—and faces a maximum sentence of three years in prison if she is convicted.

The incident is reminiscent of another in Japan in November 2020, when police in the town of Soka, Saitama Prefecture, discovered the dead body of a man in the attic of his son's apartment after a civil servant asked police to check on him.

The son, Akira Ishidoya, told the authorities that his dad had died a few years earlier from natural causes, but that he was concerned that he would be accused of murdering him, so hid his corpse in the attic.

He was arrested for abandoning and dismembering a corpse.

Newsweek has contacted the Asaminami Police Department for comment on the case.

Japanese woman calls police about son's corpse
Yellow caution tape with Japanese and English languages in front of a building. An elderly Japanese woman was arrested on Monday 24 May after she called the police and asked them what she should do with the rotting corpse of her son. naotoshinkai/iStock / Getty Images Plus