Man in mummified bodies case wants name cleared

David Kaneko

REXBURG — A Rexburg man who lived for three years with the partially mummified bodies of his wife and daughter is hoping to clear his record.

Kenichi David Kaneko, 74, pleaded guilty to two counts of involuntary manslaughter in 2007, three years after Madison County Sheriff’s deputies found the bodies of Lorraine and Laura Kaneko in the family’s double-wide trailer off of Salem Highway.

Kaneko was sentenced to a six-month mental health rider program with an underlying prison sentence of four to 10 years. With his probation completed, Kaneko is pushing to have

the charges dismissed by filing a motion for withheld judgment.

With a withheld judgment, once somebody completes his probation, the conviction and arrest are virtually erased from the record. If his motion is granted, Kaneko’s record would show he was charged with a crime, but it was dismissed.

Kaneko declined comment

Tuesday at the Madison County Courthouse on the advice of his attorney, Steve Brown.

According to the motion, Kaneko, who is in poor health, believes that since he completed his sentence, his name should be cleared.

Madison County Sheriff Roy Klingler said in previous reports that the Kaneko family began withdrawing from friends and family in the ’80s. In 1997, relatives began requesting Sheriff’s deputies do welfare checks on the Kanekos’ house.

Klingler reportedly checked on the house himself before

becoming sheriff and didn’t see anything wrong.

In 2004, relatives confronted authorities again when they discovered Kaneko had lost his job and was staying in hotels. They were worried about

Lorraine and Laura, neither of whom they’d seen in years.

After interviewing neighbors, Sheriff’s deputies secured a court order to detain the missing mother and daughter to have them mentally evaluated.

When deputies entered the house, they found the home cluttered with trash bags, junk and hundreds of air fresheners. In a bedroom, they found the partially mummified bodies of Lorraine and Laura, lying side by side and covered with a blanket.

Deputies said Laura had been dead for three years and Lorraine for more than a year.

After a lengthy investigation, authorities concluded the women had died from being malnourished. Kaneko was convicted for letting it happen.

The motion for withheld judgment is set for oral argument June 16.

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