Mom, boys pulled from watery grave following yakuza wife’s confession


The bodies of a woman and two teenage boys were removed from a submerged car Thursday night in a Fukuoka Prefecture river based on information provided by a mobster’s wife, police said Friday.

The bodies were found inside the minivehicle in the Suwa River in Omuta based on information provided by Mami Kitamura, who had earlier confessed to killing the three and another teenage boy and had told police where to find the corpses.

The three were identified following an autopsy as Sayoko Takami, 58, her 18-year-old son, Tatsuyuki, and Junichi Hara, 17, a friend of Tatsuyuki. They all appear to have been dead for about a week.

Police found their bodies inside her vehicle after retrieving the body of Takami’s 15-year-old son, Joji, from the river on Tuesday.

Kitamura, 45, was arrested Wednesday on suspicion of dumping Joji’s body in the river. She later admitted she had shot Joji and the three others dead and dumped their bodies.

Police suspect Takami had had trouble with Kitamura over money she had loaned to the mobster’s wife.

Police said an autopsy conducted on Joji shows he was murdered but did not die of gunshot wounds.

Kitamura threw his body from a bridge into the river Saturday, police alleged, noting that three concrete blocks, each weighing 5 kg to 6 kg, were found tied by rope to the neck and ankles of the half-naked body.

Police believe that the three were already dead when the vehicle was pushed into the river. Investigators suspect that someone helped Kitamura dump the car in the river because it would be difficult for a woman to do this alone.

Kitamura is married to Jitsuo Kitamura, 60, a senior yakuza who shot himself in the head Wednesday with a pistol he carried into a police station while he was being questioned after his wife was arrested.

Jitsuo Kitamura, who is connected with the Dojinkai syndicate, was being grilled at the Omuta Police Station when he suddenly shot himself. He was hospitalized but is not in critical condition, police said.