• Kyodo


A 15-year-old high-school student was found dead early Tuesday morning in a park in Kasukabe, Saitama Prefecture, police said.

Police suspect the youth, identified as Takahiro Hoshino, from the local city of Sugito, may have been killed in a fight. He was reportedly bleeding from the nose and had bruises on his face.

Neighbors were quoted as saying they heard shouts in the park around 2 a.m. A local resident called police about 5 a.m. saying a boy was lying on the ground in Hachiman Park.

Police identified the victim, a night student at Kasukabe High School, from the train pass he was carrying.

An autopsy will be performed to determine the cause of death.

Hoshino entered the high school in April and was also employed part time at a local post office. He was absent from the school Monday night.

He was wearing a checkered red shirt and a dark blue pair of trousers when he was found, police said, adding his wallet was near the body, while his shoes were discarded about 20 meters away.

The park is located about 300 meters north of the school.

Suspect in teen death

KITAKYUSHU (Kyodo) Police have determined that a 58-year-old man who killed himself in December was responsible for the murder of a 14-year-old girl here.

Investigation papers on the deceased suspect, Homio Higashi, were sent to prosecutors over the death of Mihiro Ogawa, who is believed to have been murdered shortly before Higashi killed himself by jumping in front of an oncoming train on Dec. 2, police said.

Police suspect that Higashi stabbed the girl in the chest and face with a kitchen knife in his apartment.

He left a note in which he apologized “for causing trouble” and saying that he will “go to where Mihiro is,” according to police.

Investigations revealed the girl frequently visited Higashi’s apartment. Bloodstains found on Higashi’s shirt also matched the blood type of the victim.

Police say the motive behind the murder is unknown.

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