Man arrested for alleged murder of acting troupe member


Police said they arrested a 37-year-old man Saturday on suspicion of killing Risa Kagaya, 25, a female member of an acting troupe in Tokyo last August.

Takahiro Tokura, an unemployed man from Fukushima Prefecture, denied the allegation. He is quoted as telling police, “I don’t know the victim and I didn’t kill her.”

DNA left at the condominium of the victim in Nakano Ward, Tokyo, matched that of the man, police said, adding they received DNA samples from the suspect voluntarily in mid-February.

Tokura was living nearby at the time Kagaya was murdered but moved back to Yabuki, his hometown in Fukushima Prefecture, shortly after the incident. Police arrested him in the prefecture.

Tokura is suspected of strangling Kagaya in her condominium sometime between early Aug. 25 and around 10 p.m. on Aug. 26 last year.

Skin flakes, believed to be from the perpetrator, were found under the nails of the victim after she apparently attempted to resist her attacker. The police took DNA from the samples.

Kagaya did not show up for her part-time job at a Japanese pub on the night of Aug. 25. Her manager contacted police after visiting her condominium the following day and getting no response.

The victim’s room was locked and more than 10 items belonging to her, including her backpack, were missing.

Based on her mobile phone records and footage from a security camera, Kagaya is believed to have been killed shortly after returning home after stopping at a nearby convenience store.

Kagaya, who came from Miyagi Prefecture, aspired to become an actress.