• Kyodo

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An elderly couple were found dead early Thursday at their home in Kakogawa, Hyogo Prefecture, in an apparent burglary and murder, police said.

The bodies of Toshiyuki Matsumoto, 83, and his wife Setsue, 81, were discovered at their home by their eldest daughter, who was checking on them after being alerted by a neighbor of the couple.

The police said there were signs of someone having searched through drawers and other furniture in the house for money or valuables and they have set up a murder investigation team at the Kakogawa Police Station.

Matsumoto was found lying on a futon on the first floor in his pajamas and had bled profusely. His face appeared to have been battered with a blunt object, police said.

His wife was found in an empty bathtub with her hands handcuffed behind her back and her legs bound with tape, police said.

The front gate was locked when the 55-year-old daughter arrived at the house, which is surrounded by rice paddies, so she gained entry through an unlocked outhouse connected to the main house.

The daughter was alerted by a neighbor who had noticed Matsumoto was not attending to the rice paddy as he was scheduled to do on Thursday morning.

The Matsumotos were last seen near their home Monday. There was no response from the house and the front gate was locked Tuesday evening, a neighbor told police.

The house is about 1 km southwest of JR Higashi Kakogawa Station.

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