MATSUYAMA, EHIME PREF. – The 48-year-old son of a woman whose body was found Sunday stuffed in a suitcase along a wooded road in Saijo, Ehime Prefecture, was arrested Wednesday on an initial charge of dumping the corpse, police said.
The police said Kazuyuki Kawahara, who allegedly stuffed the body of his mother, Teruko, 76, in the suitcase and dumped it between Aug. 4 and 15, has admitted this but claimed he found his mother dead when he returned home after being away.
The unemployed Kawahara, who was living with his mother, was arrested soon after police identified the decomposed corpse. Kawahara said he had been away until around Aug. 14 and had returned home to find his mother dead, the police said.
He allegedly tried to hide the suitcase, covering it with newspapers and fliers found at the site. The body was found Saturday around 4 p.m. The police are trying to confirm from witness accounts if the woman had been seen recently or whether she had been sick in bed since the beginning of August.
They are investigating the sequence of events and the cause of death. An autopsy performed Sunday found no visible external injuries.