• Kyodo

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After a 16-day nationwide search, police on Thursday arrested a high school boy on suspicion of assaulting four teammates from his school’s baseball club and then beating his mother to death with a baseball bat in Okayama Prefecture last month.

The 17-year-old boy, whose name is being withheld because he is a minor, was arrested by police in Akita Prefecture — 16 days after he disappeared following the June 21 incidents.

Police transported him to Okayama Prefecture later in the day. He has admitted to investigators that he assaulted his teammates and mother, according to police sources.

After allegedly assaulting and seriously injuring the other boys, the youth is suspected of beating his mother to death at their home in the town of Osafune, police said.

He was on a nationwide wanted list for assault and attempted murder until his arrest.

The youth allegedly attacked the four first- and second-year students with a metal baseball bat during a club practice session at Oku High School in the town of Oku in the prefecture, according to police.

Police suspect the boy assaulted the teammates because they had teased and bullied him.

One of the four suffered serious head injuries, while the other three sustained injuries to their shoulders and arms.

The boy’s mother was found dead at their home about an hour after the 4:30 p.m. assault on the students, police said.

A baseball uniform the boy wore during practice and a bloodstained metal bat were found at his home, leading police to believe he killed his mother with the bat after fleeing the school.

An Akita Prefectural Police officer saw the boy riding a bicycle in the prefecture, about 750 km from his home, around 4 p.m. Thursday, police said, adding that he was arrested after his identity was confirmed through his fingerprints.

The boy also confirmed his own identity to investigators.

When he was found by Akita police, the boy was riding a different bicycle to the one he reportedly used to flee his Okayama home 16 days ago.