• Kyodo


The male suspect seen walking with a 4-year-old boy who was kidnapped here last week and later found murdered may be a junior high school student, investigative sources said Tuesday.

The naked body of Shun Tanemoto, who disappeared from a Nagasaki electronics shop on the evening of July 1, was found on the road by a parking garage about 4 km away the following morning. An autopsy indicated that he was thrown from the roof of the eight-story structure.

The sources said police have been analyzing video footage obtained from security cameras positioned along a shopping street about 150 meters from the garage. It shows a child believed to be Tanemoto walking with a youth on the evening he went missing.

By sharpening the video footage, investigators have a relatively clean shot of the youth. Based on his facial features and clothing, he appears to be a junior high school student, the sources said.

Police are looking for the suspect, they said.

The youth in the video footage is wearing a white short-sleeve shirt, black trousers and whitish shoes — clothing that resembles the summer uniforms of junior high schools in the city, the sources said. Police have also calculated his approximate height and weight, they said.

Shoe prints believed to be the kidnapper’s that were lifted from the roof of the garage have been confirmed to be those of white sneakers manufactured by a domestic shoe firm. Subsequent investigations have shown that this type of sneaker had at one time been recommended footwear at three junior high schools in the city. The sneakers are still sold at supply shops in those schools for around 2,400 yen a pair.

Tanemoto’s footprints have also been found on the roof of the parking garage, and investigators believe that the culprit took the boy to the roof, removed the child’s shoes and clothes and threw him off.

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