Amagasaki suspects face indictment

Kyodo

Six people suspected in the murder of a man in Amagasaki, Hyogo Prefecture, will be indicted Wednesday, investigative sources said Saturday.

The six and Miyoko Sumida, a key suspect over a string of alleged murders, were arrested on suspicion of abusing and killing Jiro Hashimoto, 53, in Sumida’s residence in Amagasaki. Sumida committed suicide earlier this month in her police cell.

The police believe the suspects conspired to abuse Hashimoto, who was living with them at Sumida’s condominium, lock him in a shed on the balcony and leave him to die. His body was found in a concrete-filled metal drum dumped into the sea off Bizen, Okayama Prefecture.

Sumida admitted murdering Hashimoto before she died at a detention facility Dec. 12. Some of the other suspects, however, deny they intended to kill him.

The six suspects are Kentaro Sumida, her 30-year-old son, Masanori Lee, her 38-year-old cousin, Yoritaro Tei, her 62-year-old common-law husband, Mieko Sumida, her 59-year-old sister-in-law, Rui Sumida, her 27-year-old daughter-in-law, and Yasushi Nakajima, the 43-year-old husband of Rui Sumida’s sister.