Content has been edited to withhold the suspect’s name.
November 18th 2019
TSURUGA, FUKUI PREF. – A 71-year-old woman in central Japan suspected of murdering her husband has told investigators she strangled her in-laws as well, local police said Monday, pointing to the stress of being the sole caregiver in the family as a possible motive.
The suspect was arrested Sunday for allegedly choking her husband, Takio, aged 70, to death with a towel while he was asleep at their home in the city of Tsuruga, Fukui Prefecture, in the early hours that day.
The bodies of Takio’s father Yoshio, 93, and mother Shinobu, 95, were also discovered.
“I choked the three of them to death,” the suspect was quoted as saying by police. Takio had difficulties walking after suffering a minor stroke, while Shinobu had been certified for level-1 nursing care, according to the investigators.
On Monday police searched the house where the four had lived. Police believe that exhaustion from taking care of her elderly family members may have been the motive.
The suspect’s daughter, in her 40s, called the police after she was contacted by her mother, prompting them to find the bodies of Yoshio and Shinobu on the first floor and that of Takio on the second floor of their two-story home. There were no external injuries on the bodies, they said.
According to The Mainichi Shimbun, the suspect had taken sleeping pills before the officers arrived and was sent to hospital. Her condition is said not to be life-threatening and she is reportedly in stable condition.
The suspect’s husband Takio had succeeded had succeeded his father as head of a construction company, and the suspect served as a board member in charge of accounting.
“She started to tell me that she was ‘exhausted with caregiving’ and how she was ‘feeling unwell,’” said a 72-year-old woman in the neighborhood who had talked to the suspect earlier this year.