Coworker’s prints found in dead man’s cab

Kyodo

The fingerprints of a murdered taxi driver’s former coworker were found in the dead man’s cab, sources said Thursday.

The slain driver, 62-year-old Tateo Yoshiyama of Ibaraki, Osaka Prefecture, was found hanged from the gate of a sports field near his cab in the city on the morning of Sept. 2.

The sources said the fingerprints lifted from his taxi match those of a 52-year-old man who had worked at another taxi firm at the same time as Yoshiyama.

Kyoto Prefectural Police on Thursday obtained a warrant for the man on suspicion of arson, attempted robbery and murder in a separate incident that occurred the day before Yoshiyama’s body was found.

The sources said the man and an accomplice allegedly entered a house in Kyoto’s Fushimi Ward in the afternoon of Sept. 1, posing as police officers. They allegedly bound the hands and feet of a 56-year-old woman and made off with about 200,000 yen in cash and four bankbooks after setting the house on fire.

The woman escaped through a second floor window, sustaining minor injuries.

The woman positively identified the man from a photograph, and police matched his fingerprints with those found on a bag containing plastic tanks of gasoline that were used to fuel the fire, the sources said.

Yoshiyama was found hanging by his necktie. His fares for the night were not in his cab, which was parked nearby.

The 52-year-old man worked at the same branch of a Kyoto-based taxi firm for some time during the period of Yoshiyama’s employment from 1987 to 2001, the sources said.