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Kobe man held in connection with grisly murder of 6-year-old girl


September 24, 2014

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THE ASAHI SHIMBUN



KOBE--Police have arrested a 47-year-old man in the death of a 6-year-old girl who went missing about two weeks ago, which triggered a massive police search.

The girl's dismembered body was found in plastic bags in bushes near the man's apartment in Kobe's Nagata Ward on Sept. 23. Yasuhiro Kimino, unemployed, was arrested the following day on suspicion of abandoning her body.

Hyogo prefectural police questioned Kimino after a health card bearing his name and cigarette butts were discovered in the bags containing the girl's body parts.

Police have confirmed through DNA analysis that the body is that of Mirei Ikuta, a first-year student at Nakura Elementary School in the city. Mirei had remained missing since Sept. 11 despite the intensive police search.

Police have established the cigarette butts were Kimino's after DNA tests of specimens left on them.

Investigators said one bag contained the girl's head and torso, and another bag contained her feet. Parts of the body were missing.

There were signs that the girl's body was severed with a blade, they added.

Police believe at least several days have passed since her death, as the body was badly decomposed.

A pink-and-blue dress, undergarments and navy sandals the girl was wearing before she went missing were also found in plastic bags.

The site, where a total of six plastic bags were discovered, is about 100 meters east of the girl's home and had not been searched by police before Sept. 23.

Investigators searching the area noticed a foul smell and found the bags about 4:10 p.m. that day. An officer tore one of the bags open slightly and discovered a child's hand.

Mirei left her school around 2:45 p.m. on Sept. 11 with a classmate whom she planned to play with later that day.

The girl reportedly set out after dropping off her school bag at her grandmother's home.

Security footage from a camera at a nearby convenience store showed her walking with a parasol at around 3:15 p.m.

She then went to condominium where her friend lives. Her parasol was found in a garden near the condominium building.

Mirei was last seen walking in a southerly direction near a park about 600 meters southeast of her grandmother's home at around 5:30 p.m.

According to Kimino's neighbors, he moved into an apartment near the site a few years ago and apparently lived alone.

The grisly case in Kobe is the latest in series of incidents in which young girls went missing in the hours after leaving school.

In January, a fifth-year elementary school student in Sagamihara, Kanagawa Prefecture, was abducted while walking a dog after 4 p.m. The girl was taken into police custody four days later and a man was arrested in the case.

In Kurashiki, Okayama Prefecture, another fifth-year elementary school student disappeared on her way home from school in July. She was found five days later. The man who abducted her told police he threatened the girl with a knife to force her into his vehicle, before confining her in his home.

A growing number of schools have taken steps to encourage students to walk home in groups after a first-year elementary school girl was murdered in Nara in November 2004, and another was killed in what is now Nikko, Tochigi Prefecture, in December 2005.

Both girls were abducted while walking home from school alone.

The National Police Agency said there were 94 abduction cases involving children aged 12 or under in 2013.

The figure accounts for 51.1 percent of all abduction cases that year, including those with adults as victims.

In recent years, the number of annual child-abduction cases has hovered around 90 after declining to 63 in 2008 from 141 in 2004.
http://ajw.asahi.com/article/behind_news/social_affairs/AJ201409240067
THE ASAHI SHIMBUN
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上記広告は1ヶ月以上更新のないブログに表示されています。新しい記事を書くことで広告を消せます。