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OTSU, Shiga Pref. (Kyodo) A 40-year-old man was arrested Friday on suspicion of killing a woman who worked under him by dumping her in an outdoor sludge tank in Shiga Prefecture last week, police said.

Shigenari Morita from Maibara, Shiga Prefecture, allegedly hit Noriko Ogawa, a 28-year-old office worker from nearby Nagahama, on the head with an object before throwing her into the tank sometime between June 10 and 12, they said.

Morita denied the allegation. “I did not either kill or hit her,” the police quoted Morita as saying.

Ogawa worked under Morita at a glass-making factory in Takatsuki, Shiga Prefecture. Investigative sources believe that Morita, who is married, was having an affair with her that later went sour.

The woman’s body was found in the sludge tank at Maibara at around 6 a.m. on June 12. The iron lid of the tank was closed but not locked.

The police believe the woman died of suffocation after being thrown into the tank. She also suffered a depressed skull fracture.

Ogawa disappeared after leaving work at around 8 p.m. on June 10.

Based on e-mail records from Ogawa’s cell phone, the police believe she met with Morita before her death, the sources said, adding that they frequently e-mailed each other.

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