• Kyodo


Police said Wednesday they have identified the seven people who were found dead the previous day in a suicide pact.

The seven — three women and four men — were found sealed inside a station wagon at a parking lot near a mountain park in Minano, Saitama Prefecture.

Inside the vehicle, police found several suicide notes and four charcoal stoves, which are commonly used in suicides by carbon monoxide poisoning. The vehicle was wrapped in blue plastic sheets and was sealed from the inside with adhesive tape.

Police said the seven had bound themselves together at the wrist and waist.

They were identified from their drivers’ licenses and other belongings that were in the vehicle.

They were a housewife, 33, from the city of Saitama; an unemployed man, 20, from Tokorozawa, Saitama Prefecture; an unemployed woman, 20, from the city of Saga; a jobless woman, 34, from Tokyo; a male university student, 20, from Iwaki, Aomori Prefecture; a male part-timer, 20, from Higashi-Osaka, Osaka Prefecture; and a 26-year-old man from Kawasaki, Kanagawa Prefecture, officials said Wednesday.

Autopsies showed that the seven died around midnight Sunday, police said.

The jobless man from Tokorozawa telephoned his 19-year-old brother, with whom he lived, on Sunday morning to say he would not return home, investigators said. He apparently had trouble getting a steady job.

An e-mail was also sent from his account to a friend on Monday afternoon, mentioning the suicide plan. Police believe it was programmed to be transmitted after his death.

One of the suicide notes, believed to have been written by the Tokyo woman, reportedly says, “Mother is going to die, but I was happy that I gave birth to you all.”

The Saga woman had had difficulty finding employment since graduating from high school. Her mother said she had noticed her daughter surfing suicide-related Web sites a month ago.

The young woman left home early Saturday, saying she planned to meet a friend she had met on the Internet, police said.

The man from Higashi-Osaka had failed to pass university entrance exams for two years in a row. His father told police that his son began behaving strangely in April and had also frequented an Internet cafe. The man left home Saturday morning without saying a word.

The husband of the Saitama woman has told police that his wife had been hooked on the Internet but did not seem suicidal, the officials said.

The family of the Iwaki college student also said she did not seem suicidal.

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