• Kyodo

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An unemployed man from Suzuka, Mie Prefecture, charged with swindling his one-time girlfriend out of car insurance money, was served a fresh arrest warrant Tuesday on suspicion he murdered her mother, police officials said.

Police took the action after Kazuhiro Ogawa, 51, reportedly told investigators he killed Michiyo Honda, 56, who has been missing for four years, and buried her body.

After police served him the fresh warrant, however, Ogawa denied he killed Honda, the officials said.

Ogawa was taken into custody after being indicted for swindling Honda’s daughter, Yukari, 32, out of 25 million yen in car insurance money. Yukari died in an accident in Tsu in 1998.

Ogawa had lived with Yukari and knew her mother.

He has also been indicted on two other counts related to insurance fraud, including an attempt to swindle 60 million yen in insurance money from Yukari’s younger brother, Masanori, 31, who died in December 1999.

Michiyo Honda was designated the beneficiary of the insurance policies in both cases.

According to investigations, Honda left her home in Kise, Mie Prefecture, in May 1998 and went missing after withdrawing several million yen from bank accounts in the town of Kiinagashima and city of Kameyama.

Witnesses have told police that Michiyo was with a man when she left her home.

Ogawa earlier told investigators that he took Michiyo to Kameyama station but denied knowing what has happened to her.

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