- Associated Press - Thursday, May 22, 2014

REXBURG, Idaho (AP) - A southeastern Idaho man who lived with the partially mummified bodies of his wife and adult daughter for years wants his involuntary manslaughter convictions cleared from his record.

The Post Register reports in a story on Thursday that 74-year-old Kenichi David Kaneko made the request in 7th District Court.

Authorities said Kaneko allowed his wife and daughter, both of whom were mentally ill, to die from starvation and sickness. He pleaded guilty to two counts of involuntary manslaughter in 2007, and was sentenced to four to 10 years in prison with a six-month mental health rider program.

Kaneko completed the six-month program and was released on probation that was set at five years.

According to the recently filed motion, Kaneko said he has completed probation and wants to clear his name. Kaneko, in poor health according to the filing, has declined to comment.

Kaneko’s attorney, Steve Brown, and the Madison County Prosecutor, Sid Brown, didn’t return calls from The Associated Press on Thursday.

In 2004, relatives told authorities they were worried about the women because they hadn’t been seen for years. Authorities conducting a welfare check on June 19, 2004, found the decomposed bodies of Laura Kaneko, 33, and Lorraine Kiyoe Kaneko, 58, side by side on a bed surrounded by hundreds of air fresheners and fans in Kaneko’s mobile home near Rexburg.

Investigators determined that Laura Kaneko died in May or June 2001, and that Lorraine Kaneko died Feb. 9, 2003.

According to court records, the women died after following a plan they believed was a divine revelation requiring a restricted diet and complete isolation. Kaneko said the women told him they had received a revelation that Laura Kaneko was to marry an apostle and had to go through a cleansing ritual.

Journals found at the home show that as early as 1990, Laura Kaneko made entries that she had received a revelation from God that she was supposed to marry a young man who was then away on a mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, according to court records.

Autopsy reports said the women died from a combination of starvation and sickness. Authorities said Kenichi Kaneko allowed the deaths to occur.

Authorities found trash - including spoiled food, used toilet paper and bags of candy labeled with the day it was eaten - piled everywhere in the small home.

A mental health expert testified at a hearing in 2007 that the women suffered from a chronic mental illness that made it difficult for them to judge reality and take care of themselves.

Kaneko testified during the hearing that interfering with their plan would have shown a lack of faith. He said that though he found both women after they died, he didn’t call police because he thought it was still part of the plan.


Information from: Post Register, https://www.postregister.com

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