Brothers still alive when thrown in river: suspect

Kyodo

A man who told police earlier this week that he killed two young brothers before dumping them in a river in Oyama, Tochigi Prefecture, said Wednesday that the boys were in fact still alive when he threw them from the bridge.

Akihiro Shimoyama, 39, who lived with the boys and their father, reportedly told police he kicked and punched the brothers before throwing them off the bridge, sources said.

The boys were reported missing Saturday and Shimoyama was arrested Sunday night. Police said he told them Monday night that he killed Kazuto Kobayashi, 4, and Hayato, 3, and dumped them in the river.

On Tuesday, police found a body identified by the boys’ father, Yasunori Kobayashi, as Hayato on a sandbar in the Omoi River, about 4 km south of the apartment he shared with Shimoyama. Police are still searching for Kazuto’s body.

Kobayashi, 40, told a news conference Wednesday that he was “frustrated” and “felt nothing but anger” against Shimoyama.

He apologized to Hayato for making him undergo a “fearful and painful” ordeal, and said he hoped Kazuto would be found soon.

Shimoyama and Kobayashi are both divorced fathers and had lived with their children in Shimoyama’s apartment in Oyama since June. Kobayashi said Shimoyama offered his place when Kobayashi and his two sons moved to Tochigi.

Shimoyama said he and Kobayashi were members of a group of hot-rodders when they were younger. He said Kobayashi treated him like a younger brother.

Police suspect that Shimoyama abducted the brothers in his car around 2:30 p.m. Saturday and drove them around for about 11 hours before searching for somewhere to kill them while they were sleeping. He told police that the boys were sleeping just before he attacked them and threw them from the bridge.

A urine sample taken from Shimoyama showed the presence of stimulants, the sources said. Kobayashi told reporters that he had an inkling something was wrong because Shimoyama had been acting strangely before the abductions and had gotten angry at his own two children for no reason.

Police believe Shimoyama assaulted Kobayashi’s boys between Saturday night and around 2 a.m. Sunday, when he returned to his apartment.

A coroner was unable to determine the cause of Hayato’s death.

Earlier reports also said Shimoyama’s two children were also sleeping in the car when he threw Kobayashi’s sons from the bridge.