National / Crime & Legal

Mechanic's suspected killer leaves 150-meter trail of bloody footprints


A 38-year-old man was stabbed to death in his home in Sakai, Ibaraki Prefecture, and a trail of bloody footprints believed to be those of the perpetrator stretched about 150 meters from the scene, police said.

Officers responding to a call from the wife of auto mechanic Masashi Onozato at around 2:15 a.m. Monday found him in a second-floor bedroom lying on his back with stab wounds to his left chest and other parts of his body.

Onozato was pronounced dead after he was transported to a hospital.

An autopsy confirmed he died of severe loss of blood due to a stab wound to his left lung. He also suffered stab wounds and cuts to both of his hands and his neck.

The weapon was not found and police said there no was indication that the bedroom had been ransacked.

The police launched a search for the suspect, described by Onozato’s wife as 160 to 170 cm tall of unknown age or gender.

According to the police, the intruder may have also sustained an injury during the fight.

The bloody footsteps started on a staircase in the home and led to the entrance way. They were also found in the garden and on the road stretching 150 meters from the house.

Onozato’s wife, 37, said she was asleep during the incident.

“I thought my husband was calling my name,” she was quoted by the police as saying. “When I woke up, I saw him covered with blood.”

She said she only saw the back of what appeared to be the perpetrator leaving their bedroom. She also said her husband had gone to bed around 8:30 p.m.

Onozato had two sons, aged 12 and 16, and an 8-year-old daughter. The older son and the daughter usually slept in an adjacent house where the wife’s parents live. According to their neighbors, Onozato and his wife got married just a few years ago.

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