• Kyodo

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The charred body of a man whose hands were tied behind his back was found in a wooden house destroyed by fire early Monday morning.

Police suspect the man was murdered.

According to police, the fire broke out at a two-story house belonging to 73-year-old Morito Takeyama in Yokohama’s Minami Ward at around 3:30 a.m., destroying the upper part of the structure.

A man’s charred body, believed to be that of Takeyama, was found in a second-floor bedroom, and police suspect someone bound the victim before setting the house on fire, the officials said.

Takeyama reportedly lived alone in the house for the past decade following the death of his wife. It stood in a residential area about 500 meters from Minami-Ota Station of the Keihin Electric Express Railway.

After suffering a neck injury seven years ago, he had experienced difficulty walking and used a wheelchair. He regularly visited a nearby nursing-care service facility three times a week.

Takeyama reportedly left the door to the house unlocked so visiting welfare helpers could enter freely, police said.

His 42-year-old second son lived nearby and helped him visit the welfare facility, they added.

Police quoted the son as saying that his father looked fine when he visited the house Sunday evening.

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