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Man arrested in connection with gruesome killing of Kobe girl

Kyodo

Police arrested a 47-year-old man on Wednesday in connection with the death and dismemberment of a 6-year-old Kobe girl who went missing nearly two weeks ago.

The man, Yasuhiro Kimino, was living near the wooded area where police found Mirei Ikuta’s head and other severed body parts.

Police uncovered the body parts Tuesday inside six plastic bags that were left roughly 100 meters east of her home in the city’s Nagata Ward. A one-piece dress and sandals identical to those worn by the elementary school student were also found inside the bags. Some parts of the body are still missing.

Police also discovered a hospital card bearing Kimino’s name and cigarette butts inside the bags. DNA test results on the cigarette butts revealed a match with Kimino.

The suspect has so far exercised his right to remain silent about the allegation, according to the police.

On Wednesday, Mirei’s family released a statement saying “We are doing our best to accept the reality that she is gone.”

Kimino, who had worked in the Ground Self-Defense Force for two years more than two decades ago, lives in a housing complex about 30 meters from the bush and about 100 meters from Mirei’s home.

He moved into his current residence one to two years ago, and has had some recent disputes with neighbors who complained of noises from his residence. He has also been in trouble with the police, according to the residents.

The city’s education board said it will have counselors attend the school where Mirei was a pupil in order to help children cope with her death.

The wooded area where the bags were discovered is located at the top of a slope slightly more than 30 meters from Kimino’s house. Few people pass by the site, even during the day, local residents said.

After the girl’s mother reported her missing, police conducted a search of vacant houses in the neighborhood, but had not ventured into the woods until Tuesday.

The Hyogo Prefectural Police set up a team on Wednesday to probe the suspected murder and abandonment of the body.

According to police, surveillance camera footage had shown Mirei walking on the afternoon of Sept. 11 — the last time she was seen before she went missing. The footage also showed Kimino following far behind her, police said.

Mirei left school at around 2:45 p.m. on that day and apparently visited her grandmother, who lives near Mirei’s home, leaving her school bag there. Police said she was last seen walking alone in a southerly direction from a park around 600 meters southeast of her home at around 5:30 p.m., according to classmates who saw her.

Surveillance footage from another camera had shown the girl walking alone past a nearby convenience store, with an open parasol, at around 3:15 p.m. Mirei was supposed to play with a friend who lives in the same building as the convenience store, but she didn’t show up. The parasol was later found in bushes near the building.

Mirei’s mother reported her missing to police on the night of Sept. 11.

A total of 2,500 police officers have been mobilized to comb through Mirei’s neighborhood, police said.

The bags containing the body parts were found close to the location where Mirei was last seen. That area is halfway between her elementary school and her home.

Police were able to identify the body parts using DNA testing.

  • レネ

    That’s so messed up…has he told police yet his motives for the murder?

  • Michael K

    Let me make this clear; if it was my daughter, this guy and his whole family would be burning…how can he do this to a 6 year old girl? WTF is wrong with some people?

    • Starviking

      You would kill his family too?

      • Michael K

        YES! Why should they enjoy the privledges of life when they bred a son who killed my daughter? Anyone who has killed a child like this monster did deserves the worst life imaginable..im sorry but im just truthful..no parent would allow this family to exist

      • Starviking

        So mother, father, the guy’s sisters and brothers – you’d kill them all, because their son/brother was a nutcase?

        Seems monstrous to me.

      • Michael K

        Oh well. Eliminate the problem
        Completly. ANY SANE family would think that..i mean your blood, your family, your most precious thing is gone and u wont go nuts? Then there is something wrong with that

      • Starviking

        Sorry, I think what you propose is monstrous. Imagine if they’d accused the wrong guy – and he’s sitting in a holding cell and finds out some lunatic has slaughtered his whole family.

        When he gets out, should he follow your logic and wipe out your family?

  • scottd

    this is heart-wrenching… not anyone’s fault but i notice here (in Japan) young children often walk around unsupervised on their way home from school, etc. My daughter is 5 years old and i would never let her out of my sight. People please don’t leave your young children unattended, there are obviously many sick f**ks out there who prey on them. Hope he is dealt with in the harshest way possible.

    • cslyp

      This is disgusting case, and clearly too many parents and communities are not protective enough. 5 and 6 is too young for girls to be roaming alone.

      Still, I would favor the situation in Japan to the one in some Western countries (e.g. I’m from the US) where kids often can’t do anything alone in public, including walk to school or go to the park. Crimes such as this are such rare incidents, and being over protective leads to other social and health consequences. The bigger risk is from family members and “friends” rather than strangers, according to all the data.

    • ChinaMarine

      Yea, but the thing is, we may never know who the REAL killer is.
      If you aren’t familiar with the way / methods in which the Japanese legal system works, starting from the JCops.
      They basically pick somebody up, who may or may not have anything at all to do with the crime, lock them in a room, and basically tell them they can leave, after they’ve signed the confession documents.

      I’m not sure if they will even use any kind of REAL crime scene science, such as DNA analysis, they haven’t for the past 10 years, not sure if JCops are doing it recently, I would guess NOT.

      Basically, the JCops fixate on someone they THINK (or WANT) to have committed the crime, and then ram it through the justice system. And they have a pretty impressive conviction rate (like 99.9%), once they get this “Free-Will” confession.

      So no telling if this guy they have in custody now, has anything at all to do with the crime, or just happened to be in wrong place at the wrong time!

      • Earl Kinmonth

        Things are done so much better in the US. “The Central Park jogger case involved the assault and rape of Trisha Meili, a female jogger in New York City’s Central Park, on April 19, 1989. Five juvenile males—four black and one of Hispanic
        descent—were tried and convicted for the crime and served their
        sentences fully. The convictions were vacated in 2002 when Matias Reyes,
        a convicted rapist and murderer serving a life sentence for other
        crimes, confessed to committing the crime alone and DNA evidence
        confirmed his involvement in the rape.” http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Central_Park_jogger_case “A settlement in the case for $41 million was approved by a federal judge
        on September 5, 2014. Santana, Salaam, McCray, and Richardson will each
        receive $7.1 million for their years in prison, while Wise will receive
        $12.2 million. The city did not admit to any wrongdoing in the
        settlement.”

      • Scott Reynolds

        If you had read the article you are commenting on you would know that the police used DNA analysis to tie the cigarette butts found with the girls remains to the suspect. Of course it’s possible that someone else put the cigarette butts there, but your contention that the Japanese police do not use DNA analysis is incorrect.

      • ChinaMarine

        Read my comment once more, I said, I am NOT sure if they are using it these days…

        You can read up on throngs of people wrongly convicted, even within the last 2 years, without DNA ever playing even a remote role in the crime being solved.

        They may very well have started using DNA analysis, but they didn’t in even the recent past.

        JCops are world famous for locking people in rooms for days on end until they get someone to sign a confession. But don’t take my word for it, the UN even has a special committee which specially named Japan as one of the worst human rights violators (certainly the worst in Industrialized world) in the world.

        And the guy lived within 100 meters of where the body was discovered, what they say in the news, isn’t necessarily what transpired and how they collected this evidence. Whoever dumped it, may have dumped it next to that guys trash, who knows?

        I hope they really caught the guy! But from experience and seeing how JCops work, at this point in time, I more suspicious of the JCops, than of this “Kimino” fellow.

        I am certainly boiled over with rage against these JCops in how much time they wasted, how little they accomplished, considering, the girl was literally within 150 meters of where she was last seen!

      • scottd

        do you have links or even anecdotal evidence to support what you’re telling me? and i am not being a wise-ass, i legit want to read about it.

      • ChinaMarine

        I worked with JCops (unfortunately for 4 years when I was an MP) and you can read all about their continued follies across Jnews sources, even today.

        As I prefaced my last comment, “I’m not sure if they will even use any kind of REAL crime scene science”

        These Days, they may very well.

        Unfortunately, I speaking from intrinsic experience!
        I wish, believe me I wish I could say, “I love those JCops! They are the very Best, Most Professional, Highly Trained Police in the world!” But not by a long shot.

        I wish to God, they would have asked for help when they searched for that little angel, because, they are just not equipped to handle anything more than giving directions and writing bicycle registration violations!

  • Mike

    SAD sad tragedy. I have 2 children (9+6) and worry about this often. There is an oddly large number of crazy people around and I feel terribly sad that this poor girl had to meet one. Just awful….Rest in peace little angel.

  • ChinaMarine

    JCops those Incompetent Fools! She was probably alive for a number of days!!! Unbelievable remains discovered so close to where she was last seen… This is EXACTLY WHY you don’t want Professional Bicycle Registration Checkers acting as Cops!!

    Incompetent Fools!

    And these cops had better ask from help, if they can’t manage to match DNA on the suspect…

    We ALL know how JCops solve crimes, by locking someone in a room for 7 days straight until they get them to break…

    Incompetent Fools!

    Incompetent Fools!

    They should have asked the U.S. Military Police for help or the FBI…

    Incompetent Fools!

  • ChinaMarine

    JCops those Incompetent Fools! She was probably alive for a number of days!!! Unbelievable remains discovered so close to where she was last seen… This is EXACTLY WHY you don’t want Professional Bicycle Registration Checkers acting as Cops!!

    Incompetent Fools!

    And these cops had better ask from help, if they can’t manage to match DNA on the suspect…

    We ALL know how JCops solve crimes, by locking someone in a room for 7 days straight until they get them to break…

    Incompetent Fools!

    Incompetent Fools!

    They should have asked the U.S. Military Police for help or the FBI…

    Incompetent Fools!

  • Ahojanen

    Media frenzy and high level of publicity especially on part of the victim are questionable. They inflict an extra suffering to her bereaved family. I suggest that mainstream media outlets restrain from exposing personal profiles unless needed.

    Also the arrested man is still the murder suspect at this time, subject to presumed innocence principle.

  • ChinaMarine

    JCops those Incompetent Fools! She was probably alive for a number of days!!! Unbelievable remains discovered so close to where she was last seen… This is EXACTLY WHY you don’t want Professional Bicycle Registration Checkers acting as Cops!!
    This comment was added 4 hours ago!
    There’s NOTHING OFFENSIVE in this comment!
    STOP DELETING IT!

    Incompetent Fools!

    And these cops had better ask from help, if they can’t manage to match DNA on the suspect…

    We ALL know how JCops solve crimes, by locking someone in a room for 7 days straight until they get them to break…

    Incompetent Fools!

    Incompetent Fools!

    They should have asked the U.S. Military Police for help or the FBI…

    Incompetent Fools!

  • Educated_Opinion

    Odd that he left cigarette butts and a hospital ID in the bags with her body parts. It’s almost like he wanted to be caught. If he wasn’t also on surveilance videos, I would wonder if he was being framed. It does look like they have the right man though. I feel very sad for her parents.

    • Scott Reynolds

      Yes it does seem odd, doesn’t it. The fact that he was in the surveillance video proves nothing since he lives in the neighborhood. Why don’t you hold on a little bit before jumping to conclusions?

  • Wesley Wong

    I don’t believe in such a convenient thing as a hospital card inside the bag, no way bet he’s being framed or something, its just far too convenient…