KYOTO (Kyodo) Police served an arrest warrant Tuesday on an imprisoned thief in connection with the slaying last May of a 15-year-old girl whose corpse was found in Maizuru, Kyoto Prefecture.

The warrant for Katsumi Naka, 60, came 11 months after high school student Miho Kosugi was found dead May 8 in a wooded area with head and facial injuries.

Naka has denied killing Kosugi and dumping her body, according to the police.

Kosugi died early May 7 from loss of blood, the police said.

Before he was arrested in November on suspicion of theft, Naka told the media: “I was sleeping on the night of the incident.”

But witnesses placed people resembling Kosugi and Naka near the site where the body was found, investigative sources said.

Video footage from a security camera also appears to back up the police suspicions, showing two people who look like Kosugi and Naka, according to the sources.

The image was captured early May 7 by a security camera on a street leading to the site where Kosugi’s body was found.

The police have been unable to find physical evidence, including a weapon, that directly ties Naka to the case.

They searched Naka’s home for six days from late November to early December on suspicion of murder and dumping a body, and seized some 2,000 items, including clothes and industrial tools.

“(Naka’s arrest) would make us feel secure if he is the actual culprit,” said a 69-year-old man who lives nearby and whose grandchild is the same age as Kosugi.

“But I wonder if (the police) have proof.”

Naka was initially arrested for stealing some ¥2,000 from an offertory box at a shrine and an item of underwear from a residence. He was indicted and sentenced to one year in prison in February.

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