Mother, two children found apparently strangled in their Fukuoka home

A mother and her two elementary school children were found dead Tuesday at their home in Ogori, Fukuoka Prefecture, and Fukuoka Prefectural Police said Wednesday they have started a murder investigation.

According to the police, 38-year-old Yukiko Nakata was found lying on the kitchen floor on the first floor of her house and her 9-year-old son, Ryosuke, and 6-year-old daughter, Miyu, were discovered in the bedroom upstairs. They all had apparently been strangled, they said.

Yukiko’s husband, who is a police officer of the prefectural police, told investigators that the three were asleep when he left home for work at around 6:45 a.m. Tuesday. Later in the morning he was informed by the elementary school that his children had not come to school and asked Yukiko’s sister who lives nearby to check on his house.

Yukiko’s sister reported to police at around 9:20 a.m. the same day after finding the bodies, the police said.

Since there were no traces of someone ransacking the house, the police at first believed the mother had committed suicide after killing the children. However, an autopsy found subcutaneous bleeding in her neck that the police say was apparently not caused by suicide. The police are investigating to determine how the three died.

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