NAGASAKI – A series of anonymous murder confessions were posted on the popular 2channel Internet forum Saturday evening, prompting police to investigate their possible link with the death and dismemberment of 15-year-old Aiwa Matsuo in Sasebo, Nagasaki Prefecture.
A classmate of Matsuo’s was arrested Sunday on suspicion of murdering her the night before.
“Oh no, blood keeps pouring out even though I have wiped it away many times,” said one of the messages posted, which carried the subject line “I have ended up killing.”
It could not immediately be confirmed whether the classmate, who turned 16 on Monday, was the author of the four messages.
The Nagasaki Prefectural Police are investigating whether there is a connection between the messages and the murder.
The same forum user uploaded seven pictures showing a hand of what appeared to be that of the user and a cloth, both covered with blood.
“I’ve tried to warm (the body) as it got cold, but it doesn’t warm up. . . . Everyone, (do you want to know) what color the brain is?” said another message. The user then posted a message saying: “I’ll take good care of the brain and the spinal cord, putting them in a solution.”
The four messages were posted between 10:08 p.m. and 10.30 p.m. Saturday, just hours before Nagasaki police found Matsuo’s body in the suspect’s Sasebo apartment.
The 16-year-old suspect, whose name is being withheld because she is a minor, was a high school friend of Matsuo. She was arrested Sunday after allegedly confessing to killing Matsuo in her apartment the previous night.
The police were looking for Matsuo after she failed to return home after she had left earlier in the day to visit the female friend.
The results of an autopsy conducted on Matsuo, whose body was found on a bed in the apartment, showed that suffocation was the direct cause of death, investigative sources said Monday.
The police have also confirmed that Matsuo, whose head and left hand had been removed, suffered multiple cuts to other parts of her body.
They say that based on the suspect’s account, she attacked Matsuo from behind at around 8 p.m. Saturday and repeatedly hit her over the head with a metal tool. She then allegedly strangled Matsuo to death with a piece of rope.
The police speculate that several instruments found on and under the bed were used as murder weapons. They started checking customer data at a nearby home center and the route through which the suspect might have obtained the items.
The investigative sources also revealed that the suspect’s mother passed away last fall and her father married another woman shortly afterward. The girl started living on her own in April and planned to study abroad, the sources said.
“It looked like she was practicing how to live by herself (by living away from the family in the apartment),” one of her acquaintances said.
The police said they plan to question teachers and other students to learn more about the events surrounding Matsuo’s death and her motive for killing her friend.
School authorities briefed around 700 students Monday at the two girls’ school.
Supplementary classes were held for second- and third-year students, but a camp for first-year students scheduled to start Monday was canceled.
“We want to provide the students with (appropriate and necessary) support,” the school’s principal, whose name has been withheld, told a news conference Sunday.
School officials said they will offer counseling to students who seek mental health support.
The incident sent shock waves through the teaching community in Sasebo due to its similarity with another murder case in 2004, in which an elementary schoolgirl killed a classmate.
That incident prompted local teachers to design school activities to help students understand the sanctity of life.
In the face of Saturday’s killing, however, many now wonder if those efforts were in vain.