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KOBE — A local teenager who is being held on suspicion of the murder and attempted murder of five Kobe schoolchildren has said to police that a hill and a pond believed involved in the crimes are places that are “sacred” and “precious,” police sources said on July 22.

The suspect reportedly has said to authorities during the investigation that “Tank Mountain” and “Mukohata Pond” were special to him because they were places he could rest and feel at ease. Investigators believe the youth strangled Hase at a cable TV antenna compound on the hilltop and later decapitated him there.

The suspect said to be in a state of shock since he was taken to the alleged crime scenes two weeks ago because the pond had been drained by authorities who had been searching for a hammer and knife reportedly used by the suspect and cast in the pond.

The 15-year-old suspect has been served two arrest warrants — one for the suspected murder of 11-year-old Jun Hase in May, and another related to assaults on four primary school girls in February and March, one of whom later died of hammer blows.

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