TSU, MIE PREF. – The Mie Prefectural Police opened a special section on its website Monday seeking tips from the public about the murder of a 15-year-old girl.
Hiromi Terawa, a third-year student at Asake Junior High School in the Mie city of Yokkaichi, was found dead on an unused plot of land in the neighboring town of Asahi in the prefecture Thursday.
The police have concluded that Terawa, who was from the city, was murdered. An autopsy suggested she was suffocated.
The police suspect the girl was killed after she parted with a friend at a supermarket in Asahi on the night of Aug. 25.
On Monday morning, the junior high school conducted a ceremony to open the second semester of the year. Some 730 students and teachers offered a minute of silence for Terawa.
Hidekatsu Yamaji, the school principal, told reporters after the ceremony that some students wept as he spoke about the incident.
“Our students are worn out,” he said. “Third-year students were scheduled to take examinations today, but we postponed them so we can offer support to the students.”
Mie police have examined Terawa’s belongings found at the scene and footage from a nearby security camera, but have been unable to find any helpful clues.
By Sunday, the police received some 30 reports from citizens. None has helped to identify a suspect.
Terawa and the friend parted around 10:45 p.m. on Aug. 25. She had an exchange with another friend using the Line smartphone instant-messaging app about 10 minutes later.