YAMAGUCHI – DNA of hair and skin found at the scene of a 20-year-old female student’s murder in a vocational college lab in Yamaguchi Prefecture has matched that of a 19-year-old male student at the school, leading police to seek an arrest warrant for him, investigative sources said Wednesday.
Police obtained the arrest warrant Tuesday for the suspect, who is also a student at Tokuyama College of Technology, on suspicion of killing Ayumi Nakatani, a structural engineering major at the state-run college in Shunan.
The man, whose name is being withheld because he is a minor, apparently sped away by motorcycle from the scene, the sources said, and police are trying to take him into custody.
Police believe Nakatani was killed shortly after she arrived at the school Monday morning, possibly over having some trouble with the youth.
According to investigators, Nakatani went to the school with classmates for research at about 10 a.m. Monday. She was found dead about five hours later with a cord around her neck in a research laboratory by a school staff member.
An autopsy showed Nakatani was strangled possibly between 10:30 a.m. and noon.
When her body was found, the laboratory was locked, police said. A female assistant professor and five students who study at the laboratory, including Nakatani, had a key, school officials said.
According to people who know the suspect, he lives in a family of four in the suburb of Sunan. Although they have tried to contact him since Nakatani’s murder, his cell phone cannot be reached, they said.
On Wednesday, officials of Tokuyama College of Technology held a meeting to explain to students about Nakatani’s murder.
Many students wept as college President Toru Amano told the students about the murder, according to participants.
The college also provided individual counseling to each student to minimize the psychological impact of the slaying, school officials said. Academic examinations scheduled for Sept. 4 have also been postponed to help reduce students’ stress, the officials said.
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