TAKAMATSU, Japan - A mother in western Japan was indicted Thursday over the deaths of her two small daughters who died in a parked car due to heatstroke while she went bar-hopping, prosecutors said.
Maria Takeuchi left the girls -- Mayuri, 6, and Yurie, 3 -- in her car at a parking lot in Takamatsu, Kagawa Prefecture, between 9:15 p.m. on Sept. 2 and 12:20 p.m. the following day, when they were found unresponsive, according to the indictment. They were later pronounced dead at a hospital.
The 26-year-old mother has admitted to drinking until the morning at three bars in the city's nightlife district, after leaving the girls, according to local police.
After departing the third bar, she went to the house of a male friend and eventually returned to her car in the afternoon, the police said.
Autopsies found that the girls died of dehydration caused by heatstroke, the police said. The temperature rose to 37.6 C in Takamatsu on Sept. 3, a record for the city for the month.
The mother initially explained that she had left the car for about two hours to go to a restroom due to an illness, but footage from surveillance cameras and witness accounts showed that she had left the children the previous day, according to the police.