Kidnappers tell police two victims set alight

Kyodo

Two suspected kidnappers confessed to police that they burned their two victims alive Tuesday in Nagoya’s Chikusa Ward, police said Saturday.

Akikazu Makita, 40, head of an auto parts sales company, and his unidentified accomplice, under arrest on suspicion of burglary and assault, will have murder added to the list of charges once sufficient evidence is collected, police said.

Police found what may be human body parts on a mountain in the town of Fujioka, Aichi Prefecture, which was being searched based on the suspects’ purported confession.

The parts were discovered on a slope in woods about 1.6 km from a campground.

Items that may have belonged to the women were also found scattered along the slope, as well as two barrels, which may have contained gasoline, covered by a tarp, the investigators said.

According to investigations, six men, of whom four are now in custody, allegedly attacked Shigeki Fukaya and his wife Yoko — operators of a coffee shop in Chikusa Ward — and their live-in employee, Katsuko Takahashi, at around 12:30 a.m. Tuesday.

They beat Shigeki Fukaya, 56, with timber, abducted his 64-year-old wife and Takahashi, 59, and stole his car. Police believe the husband had loaned a large amount of money from Makita and likely was having trouble repaying it.

Police arrested two men riding in Fukaya’s car shortly after the incident, and the men reportedly led investigators to Makita and the alleged accomplice.

Makita initially told investigators that he and three others attacked the couple and their employee to demand the repayment of money and that they abducted the two women but released them soon after. Further questioning Thursday led investigators to believe that two additional men, including Yukinari Kawamura, 36, a used-car salesman, were also involved in the attack. Police said they are searching for the two remaining suspects.