Investigators are searching for three men who left bloodstains in a taxi they hailed Saturday night near a house in Tokyo’s Setagaya Ward where a family of four was found murdered Sunday morning, police sources said.

Some of the blood found at the crime scene did not match that of the murdered family, leading police to believe that one of the assailants may have been injured in the attack, the sources said.

On Tuesday, Metropolitan Police Department chief Takeshi Noda inspected the site of the murders and ordered all investigators on the case to step up efforts to find the perpetrators, calling the crime “ultimately heinous.”

The three men, all believed to be in their 50s, hailed the taxi at around 8:30 p.m. near the house occupied by Mikio Miyazawa, 44, a company worker, his 41-year-old wife, 8-year-old daughter and 6-year-old son. One man got off first, while the remaining two disembarked some 2 km from the house, the sources said.

According to witnesses, a man seen wandering around the Miyazawas’ house Thursday resembled one of the three who took the taxi.

Miyazawa, his wife, Yasuko, and daughter, Niina, a second-grade elementary school student, were stabbed to death, while the son, Rei, a kindergarten pupil, was strangled. Autopsies revealed that the family was killed a few hours after eating a meal.

Police believe they were murdered between Saturday night and early Sunday during a robbery. The house appeared to have been ransacked.

Police said they had not found evidence of any substantial amount of cash in the house. The knives used in the stabbings were apparently the Miyazawas’, police said.

Investigators said they found no sign of any of the house’s windows being forced, leading them to believe that the attackers entered through the front door and left after locking it with the key.

Taxi driver robbed

A taxi driver was robbed of some 25,000 yen in cash in Tokyo’s Edogawa Ward at around 12:10 a.m. Tuesday by a man who threatened him with a knife, police said.

According to police, the 60-year-old cab driver picked up the passenger from the Asakusa district and was directed to the Funabori district of Edogawa Ward.

The man pulled a knife as the taxi entered an alleyway and made off with the money and without paying his fare, which was about 8,000 yen, police said.

The culprit was described as being about 30 and about 165 cm tall, they added.

In a time of both misinformation and too much information, quality journalism is more crucial than ever.
By subscribing, you can help us get the story right.