OSAKA — An Osaka woman and her brother were arrested Thursday for allegedly killing her husband, dismembering his body with an electric saw and dumping the remains in the sea.

Police found a severed human head in Osaka Bay in November and, through dental records and DNA tracing, identified the remains as those of Matsuo Ishitani, 45, president of an electrical appliance store in Minato Ward, Osaka.

Police officials, who served the arrest warrants early Thursday, had been questioning Ishitani’s wife, Yoshiko, 44, and her brother, Yasunori Matsumi, 40, an employee of Ishitani’s store, since Wednesday morning.

Ishitani’s wife denied the charges, claiming her husband had walked out on her and she has no idea what happened to him afterward, according to investigators.

But her brother has admitted dismembering Ishitani’s body and dumping the remains, saying his sister was having problems with her husband, as he was lazy and wouldn’t work, police said. He has also admitted being involved in the slaying, saying Ishitani was strangled in a car, they said.

According to police, the wife and her brother dismembered Ishitani’s body with an electric saw inside a warehouse in Minato Ward in late October.

The two allegedly loaded the body parts into a car and dumped them into the sea together with the saw from a parking area along the Hanshin Expressway.

After Ishitani disappeared, his wife allegedly told her acquaintances different stories, that they had split up and Ishitani had walked out, or that her husband was on a business trip.

Ishitani’s head was found Nov. 18 floating near the shore near an artificial island in Konohana Ward. The rest of the body has not been found.

Although police initially thought the head was a female’s, forensic experts determined it was a man’s head through an analysis of the tissue and bone structure. They eventually identified Ishitani from his dental records and DNA tests.

Ishitani’s wife apparently aroused suspicion after she canceled his insurance policy shortly after he vanished and received several million yen for premiums paid. She did not file a missing persons report until more than three months after his disappearance, police said.

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.