• Kyodo

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A 42-year-old man recently arrested for confining, abusing and starving a woman in an Osaka condominium for five months had held another woman and her child captive nine years ago, investigative sources said Monday.

The woman, then 22, and her child, believed to be around 2 at the time, were suffering extreme malnutrition when her mother rescued them from Takuya Muramoto, the sources said.

The woman was also suffering from a broken rib when she was rescued, they said. Muramoto was arrested Thursday on suspicion of confining a 24-year-old woman in his apartment in Ibaraki, Osaka Prefecture, beating her and starving her from February to July.

She was only rescued when Muramoto called an ambulance because of her deteriorating condition on July 15.

Suspecting a crime, members of the rescue team alerted the Ibaraki Police Station. The woman had been confined in a room whose windows were covered with black plastic bags and the light was covered with cloth.

Following the report, Muramoto was summoned to the police station, but he refused to show the room, police said.

The woman’s parents had sought police help shortly after she became a captive, but to no avail, and neighbors in his apartment block apparently took no action.

Muramoto is also suspected of confining several other women during the past 11 years, including one who subsequently died and for which no police action was taken.

In the case involving the mother and child, Muramoto started living with the woman, whom he met at a bar in Osaka, and her child in 1997, allegedly after claiming he would repay the woman’s loans.

But he started abusing them and confining them without food, the sources said.

A few weeks later, the woman’s mother went to the apartment when Muramoto was out and rescued them, they said.

Police are now trying to learn the entire picture of his confinements.

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