Boys’ confessed killer held on new charges


Police served a new warrant Friday on a 39-year-old man already in custody on charges of murdering his housemate’s two young sons in Tochigi Prefecture.

Akihiro Shimoyama was initially arrested Sunday on suspicion of abducting Kazuto Kobayashi, 4, and his brother, Hayato, 3, in the city of Oyama the day before. Their bodies were found earlier this week in a river after Shimoyama confessed to throwing them off a bridge.

Police served Shimoyama with another murder warrant after an autopsy on one of the boys supported his admission that he threw them into the river while they were still alive.

Police suspect Shimoyama killed the brothers because he was unhappy about living with the two boys and their father, Yasunori Kobayashi, 40, in his apartment together with his own daughter and son. The two families had been living together since June.

An investigation points to Shimoyama having taken the brothers out in his car at around 2:30 p.m. Saturday and driving them around for about 11 hours before throwing them off Manaka Bridge. Police had been searching for the brothers since they were reported missing Saturday, concentrating their search along the Omoi River after Shimoyama confessed to throwing them off the bridge.

Hayato’s body was found Tuesday, Kazuto’s Thursday.

Autopsies on the two failed to pinpoint the cause of death but did find a small amount of water in Hayato’s lungs, indicating he was alive when he entered the river.