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Suspect changes story, now admits killing 25-year-old female acting troupe member

KYODO

A 37-year-old man suspected of killing a female member of an acting troupe in Tokyo last August has confessed to murdering her, investigative sources said
Monday.

Takahiro Tokura initially denied his involvement in the death of 25-year-old Risa Kagaya after he was arrested Saturday, but reversed his statement Sunday evening, saying, “I killed her and will take responsibility,” according to the sources.

Police believe the two were unacquainted as Tokura’s contact information was not registered on Kagaya’s smartphone and as they found no personal connection between the two even after investigating the troupe, her workplace and friends.

They said they suspect Tokura came to know of Kagaya after seeing her around the areas where he lived and worked.

He had been working at a real estate agency in Shinjuku Ward, near where Kagaya had a part-time job, up until roughly two months before the murder. His home was also only 400 meters away from Kagaya’s in Nakano Ward at the time of the murder, they said.

He subsequently moved back to his hometown in Fukushima Prefecture, where he was arrested.

Tokura is suspected of strangling Kagaya in her condominium sometime between early last Aug. 25 and Aug. 26. A surveillance camera recorded images of him near the murder site on Aug. 24, according to the sources.

Several items of Kagaya’s clothing and a bag have gone missing, along with some other possessions, but none were found at Tokura’s home during a search of his house, they said.