A 28-year-old man wanted as a suspect in the murder of an office worker in Tokyo was found hanged early Saturday inside a restaurant lavatory, and police are treating the case as suicide.
Nozomi Kuroda, a former Self-Defense Force member who had no fixed address, had been on a police wanted list for the murder and robbery of Kyoko Sekino, 24. The incident occurred at Sekino’s apartment in Tokyo’s Toshima Ward on Feb. 13.
Kuroda was found hanging from a door frame in the lavatory of a Denny’s restaurant in Utsunomiya, Tochigi Prefecture, according to the Metropolitan Police Department.
Kuroda entered the restaurant, located close to JR Utsunomiya Station, alone around 2:30 a.m.
He went to the lavatory around 5 a.m., and a restaurant worker, sensing that something was wrong after the man failed to return after 30 minutes, opened the lavatory door and found him hanged with a cord from his bag, according to police investigations.
Officers from the Utsunomiya Police Station confirmed his identity with a driver’s license he was carrying.
Kuroda had only 20 yen on him when he was found dead and left no will, MPD officials said.
The MPD plans to send investigation papers on Kuroda to prosecutors as the suspect in the murder of Sekino.
Police suspect that Kuroda broke into Sekino’s apartment in the early hours of Feb. 13, strangled her with an electric cord and fled with her bag and bank card. Her body was found by a work colleague who visited the apartment that afternoon.
Kuroda’s image was captured by an anti-crime video monitor at a nearby convenience store as he withdrew 260,000 yen using the victim’s card hours after the murder.
Kuroda also went to a pawnshop to get money for the stolen bag. A fingerprint found on a piece of paper on which he wrote his name at the shop matched one found on the door of the victim’s apartment, police said.
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