Maid held in killing of two women

Kyodo

Police arrested a 52-year-old former maid Thursday on suspicion of robbing and killing a 94-year-old woman and her live-in maid in Nagoya in February.

The arrested woman was named as Tazuko Oki, an unemployed Hiroshima native of no fixed address who once worked as a maid at the victim’s home.

Oki confessed to the crime, police said.

Police quoted her as telling investigators that she was in financial difficulties. They said she had only 111 yen when they took her into custody.

Oki allegedly broke into the house of retired dentist Sadako Yoshida on the night of Feb. 13 with the intention of robbing her, police said.

But she was discovered by Yoshida and her live-in maid, Ioko Takahashi, 73, whom she beat to death with a flower vase, police said, adding that she then made off with 26,000 yen in cash.

Police discovered the bodies in the early hours of Feb. 14 after responding to a security alarm at Yoshida’s home, in the Yashirodai district of Nagoya’s Meito Ward.

Yoshida had apparently set her security system at around 9 p.m. the previous night. About an hour later, a passerby reported hearing loud noises from inside the house.

Police said they suspect Oki may have concealed herself in the house for a few hours after breaking in.

They said they suspected from the outset of the investigation that the killer was a female acquaintance of Yoshida. They decided to question Oki because she had been a maid for Yoshida until July 1998 and because her whereabouts were initially unknown.

When police investigators found Oki early Thursday in Nagoya’s Naka Ward, she agreed to accompany them to a police station, police said.

Traces of blood found at the scene and DNA samples taken from hair strands at the house match those of Oki, they said.

Oki was apparently forced to quit her job as a maid at Yoshida’s home in July 1998 due to money-related problems, police sources said.