U.S. men held over alleged rape, Irish woman’s death

Kyodo

Two American men were arrested Saturday over the death of a female Irish exchange student in a Shinjuku Ward hotel, Tokyo police said.

The woman, identified as 21-year-old Nicola Furlong, was found unconscious in a hotel room early Thursday morning and was later confirmed dead at a hospital. An autopsy indicated she may have been strangled.

One of the two suspects, a 19-year-old who identified himself as a musician, was in the room with the woman when hotel staff went up to probe a complaint about loud noise.

The two men were charged with indecent assault on the student’s 21-year-old female friend, who was in a separate room with the other man, but police suspect they were involved in the student’s death, investigative sources said.

The woman was attending Takasaki City University of Economics in Gunma Prefecture.

She arrived with her friend in Tokyo on Wednesday afternoon, and after catching a concert at a club in Koto Ward the two men approached them and invited them to a meal, the sources said.

After deciding to take a cab to the hotel, where both men were staying, the two allegedly raped the Irish woman’s drunk friend inside the taxi, they said.

Upon arriving at the hotel, the musician paired off with the Irish woman and the other two went to a different room.

A guest complained about a loud noise coming from one of the rooms around 3:20 a.m. Thursday, and a hotel employee who checked the room found the Irish woman lying unconscious on the floor with the man standing nearby, according to the sources.

There were no signs that anyone else had entered the room, they added.