HALF MOON BAY — A woman has been arrested for apparently attempting to drown herself and a child in the ocean.
San Mateo County Sheriff’s Deputies assigned to the Coastside Patrol Bureau received information about a possible suicidal person at Poplar Beach in Half Moon Bay on Jan. 15 at about 3:10 p.m.
Deputies arrived and located Chisato Chiyoda, 36, of Cupertino, who was holding an infant. Both were soaking wet in 56-degree weather. Chiyoda was reportedly seen acting strange as she entered the ocean holding the infant.
Chiyoda and the infant, who has not been publicly identified, were treated for hypothermia and taken to a local hospital for further evaluation. Detectives spoke with Chiyoda further about the incident, and when she was released from the hospital, she was arrested for attempted murder.
The infant was treated at a local hospital and released to Child Protective Services. Authorities did not say whether Chiyoda is the child’s mother.
A sheriff’s spokesperson described the case as an attempted murder-suicide.
This is an ongoing investigation and anyone with information about this crime is encouraged to contact Detective Velasquez at (650) 363-4062 or at [email protected] Alternatively, you may call the San Mateo County Sheriff’s Office Anonymous Tip Line at 1-800-547-2700.
This case is similar to that of Fumiko Kimura, 32, who waded into the ocean off Santa Monica Beach on Jan. 29, 1985 with her 6-month-old girl, Yuri, and 4-year-old boy, Kazutaka. They were pulled out of the 57-degree water by bystanders and Kimura survived, but both children died. Kimura was initially charged with murder and felony child endangerment.
A group called the Fumiko Kimura Fair Trial Committee asked that her cultural heritage be taken into consideration, noting that her crime is known in Japan as oyako-shinju or parent-child suicide, and is treated with leniency. They asked that she be charged with involuntary manslaughter instead of first-degree murder. Kimura was said to have been distraught over her husband’s infidelity.
In October 1985, Kimura was charged with voluntary manslaughter and sentenced to one year in prison, with credit for time served. She was put on probation and ordered to undergo psychiatric treatment. Her husband, Itsuroku, said he forgave her and wanted her back.
Velina Hasu Houston’s play “Kokoro (True Heart)” was based on the Kimura case.