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Ripped shamelessly from the Manichi Daily News site.
Game over for arcade geek
By Ryann Connell
April 21, 2002
It's still rare for new Japanese fathers to be present at the birth of their children.
But Masaaki Imanari had ulterior motives as he watched his young partner scream through an agonizing labor that ended in a stillbirth.
It seemed everything had worked out for him as he shoved the baby's corpse in a plastic bag and placed it in the basket on the front of his bicycle.
There was no longer a threat to his lifestyle and he felt sure his girlfriend, 15-year-old Diana Shido, would be fine, though she lay in a pool of blood when he left her on April 2.
"He was with her for the 12 hours she was in labor after she let him know by e-mail that she was about to have the baby. He even ended up cutting the umbilical cord," a police source tells Friday (5/3). "He was scared his parents would find out his girlfriend had given birth, even to a dead baby, so he took the body home and kept it in an empty box. We believe the baby suffocated because of the long labor."
With her 20-year-old lover having returned home, Diana used an intercom to let her parents know she was in agony. They called for an ambulance to take her to a hospital.
"About two hours later, she choked to death on a rice ball her parents had given her to eat during the ambulance ride," the police source tells Friday.
Imanari, since arrested for the illegal disposal of his dead son's body, was a second-year student at a private university. But the resident of Chiba Prefecture's Tatebayashi rarely showed up for class, instead preferring to hone his skills at the local video game parlor.
"For the past two years, he'd be here at 9 o'clock every morning," the owner of a video game parlor in Tatebayashi tells Friday. "He played this game called 'Beatmania,' where you have to tap a key in time with the music. He was the best player in these parts and always did well in competitions held at prefectural level."
Friday says that video game parlors dominated Imanari's life. He'd spend his mornings plugging away at a game and his afternoons doing part-time work to make the money he needed to play. He met Diana in April last year.
"He first talked to her one morning while he was on his way to the video game parlor. He finally picked her up in a video game parlor and they dated at video game parlors. I'd often see her in her school uniform standing beside Imanari, watching him play some game. They seemed really happy together," a friend of the pair tells the weekly.
Though the pair soon became well known for riding around together on the same bicycle, their apparently game-based bond took a turn for the worse when the schoolgirl fell pregnant.
"Upon starting third year, Diana stopped attending physical education classes. I realize now that she must have done it because her body was changing. Diana suddenly got fat, so in January, our nurse gave her a pregnancy test. It turned out to be positive," the principal of Diana's junior high school tells Friday. "But, no matter what we said, she vehemently denied that she was carrying a child. There was absolutely nothing we could do at all."
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