MORIOKA, Iwate Pref. – Police found the bodies of a missing Iwate Prefecture woman and her daughter Tuesday based on the confession of a man who said he killed them during a bungled burglary attempt last week.
Kazuyuki Wakabayashi, 29, of Hachinohe, Aomori Prefecture, told officers Monday night that he killed Noriko Ueno, 52, and her daughter, Yuki, 25, and dumped their bodies in mountains in Hirono, Iwate Prefecture, several kilometers from their home.
His initial arrest is on suspicion of dumping the corpses.
Police found the mother’s body in the morning and the daughter’s corpse nearby later in the day.
Wakabayashi said the motive for the crime was theft.
“We suspect theft was one motive for the crime, but we are investigating further details,” said Eiichi Onodera, head of the Iwate Prefectural Police criminal investigation bureau.
He added the suspect has confessed to the slayings and soon faces a warrant for their murders.
They questioned Wakabayashi after determining his vehicle was seen near the Ueno home around the time they disappeared July 19.
Witnesses gave police the license number and other information about the vehicle.
Wakabayashi’s neighbors in Hachinohe expressed disbelief over his arrest.
“He is a friendly man and a good father. He has small children and I can’t believe he did such a thing,” said a 68-year-old woman.
According to neighbors, Wakabayashi, his wife and two small children moved to the town about 1 1/2 years ago.
A 70-year-old woman also said Yakabayashi didn’t look like a man who would commit such crime.
“When he was gardening, I asked him what he was growing, and he said carrots,” she said.
The two victims, who worked at different companies, had not been seen since leaving their workplaces that evening.
Police entered their home Saturday afternoon after being alerted by a relative who was unable to reach them by phone.
Police found bloodstains in a room on the ground floor, but no sign of the women.
The two-story house had not been ransacked and the doors and windows were locked, with the lights on in the room with bloodstains and in the kitchen.
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