A Japanese woman has confessed to keeping four of her dead children in concrete-filled buckets.
Mayumi Saito, 53, kept the buckets in her apartment for two decades, reports the Daily Mail. They were in cardboard boxes hidden in a closet, Newsweek adds.
After her confession, detectives searched her home and found four concrete-filled buckets in a closet. Radiological scans of the buckets revealed skeletal remains.
Saito explained her reasoning at the time. "I did not think I could afford to raise them. I had no one to talk to," she told police, according to national broadcaster NHK.
"I felt I would not be able to raise the children that I gave birth to, so I placed them in buckets and poured in cement," she said.
However, it is still not completely clear whether she killed the babies or whether they were stillborn.
Explaining why she finally turned herself in, she claimed to be overcome with guilt. "There was no one I could talk to about my conscience and I thought about killing myself," Saito reportedly told police. "But I couldn't commit suicide and leave my son who I live with behind."
Saito told police that her dead children were fathered by a former boyfriend who she says was unaware of what she did with them. It was not reported whether or not he knew they were deceased.
Although the Japanese statute of limitations for abandoning a body is three years, she was arrested on suspicion of moving one dead infant from a different location to the apartment she has lived in since summer 2015. Further charges could be filed.
Although Japan has the world's third largest economy, the poverty rate for single-parent families with a working parent is 56 percent.
Throughout history, poverty is the most common cause of infanticide -- the killing of a child within a year of birth -- reports the website Signs Of The Times. In modern times, it is most common where severe poverty exists.
In addition to poverty, other common factors include young maternal age, low level of education and employment, alcoholism, drug abuse or other criminal behavior.
Statistics indicate that the rate of infanticide decreases as the availability of legal abortion increases.