• Kyodo


The corpse of a 19-year-old student wanted by police on suspicion of killing a 20-year-old student in Shunan, Yamaguchi Prefecture, was found Thursday in nearby mountains, police said.

The suspect’s motorbike was found by a patrol officer Thursday morning in a mountainous area of Kudamatsu. After investigating, the officer found the body of the youth nearby, along with his driver’s license, police said.

Police identified the body as that of the student from his fingerprints.

The 19-year-old student is suspected of killing Ayumi Nakatani, his schoolmate at state-run Tokuyama College of Technology, on Aug. 28 in a laboratory at the college, according to police investigations.

His name is being withheld because he was a minor.

Police obtained an arrest warrant for him the next day and organized a 150-officer manhunt for him in the prefecture.

Reports of the youth’s death disappointed college officials.

“If the report is true, it would be extremely regrettable,” one official said. “I wish he could have been found alive.”

According to the initial investigation, Nakatani’s friends grew concerned after she failed to answer repeated cell phone calls at around 11 a.m. Aug. 28.

The friends also called out to her from outside the lab around the same time, but there was no response, police sources said, speculating she may have encountered her killer soon after she parted with them to head for the lab at around 10 a.m.

Nakatani, a structural engineering major at the technical college, was found lying on the floor of the 16-sq.-meter lab on the third floor of the college with a cord around her neck.

Although the college was in summer recess, Nakatani, who helped on the college’s baseball team, and other students had gone to the school to study and participate in club activities.

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