Mother, kids slain; house torched

Kyodo

A mother and her three children found dead Thursday after their house in Toyoake, Aichi Prefecture, burned down had been murdered before the fire, police said.

The four are Toshiyo Kato, 38, her sons, Yuki, 15, and Shogo, 9, and daughter, Rina, 13.

The state of their bodies indicates they were killed before the house was set on fire, police said. Investigative sources said the bodies had multiple stab wounds and bruises apparently made by a blunt object. There were also traces in the gutted house of what police believe to be kerosene.

Autopsies were to be conducted to determine the exact cause of death.

The two-story house was completely gutted Thursday morning. Kato’s husband, Hirohito, 45, was at work when the blaze broke out around 4:25 a.m.