KUMAMOTO (Kyodo) A 20-year-old college student was arrested Friday in connection with the slaying of a 3-year-old girl who disappeared the previous evening in a supermarket in the city of Kumamoto and was found dead on a nearby riverbank, police said.

Arrested was Kumamoto Gakuen University student Yoshihiro Yamaguchi, who was quoted as telling investigators that he killed Koko Shimizu in a lavatory at the supermarket and stuffed her corpse in his backpack, according to the police.

The girl was at the supermarket with her parents and brother Thursday evening when she went to the bathroom and never came out. A security camera in the store captured her going into the lavatory alone but did not record her emerging.

The footage also showed a young man with a backpack entering the same lavatory after her and leaving with a bulging backpack around 15 minutes later, police said.

The girl’s body was found Friday on a riverbank around 1 km north of the supermarket. There were no obvious signs of injury, the police said.

Their inquiries at high schools and other schools in the city led to Yamaguchi’s arrest, they said. He faces an initial charge of abandoning a corpse.

In a time of both misinformation and too much information, quality journalism is more crucial than ever.
By subscribing, you can help us get the story right.