• Kyodo


A 21-year-old man has been arrested along with two male and three female teenagers in connection with the slaying of a 16-year-old girl, the teens’ former classmate, whose corpse was found on a mountain in Kure, Hiroshima Prefecture.

The arrests Wednesday followed that a few days earlier of another 16-year-old girl, who reportedly confessed to the slaying on July 12. All of the suspects are being held on an initial charge of abandoning a corpse.

The five teens, all age 16, have owned up to abandoning the body and some have also confessed to assaulting the girl, who was a vocational school student, in a car, according to the police. After the first girl arrested confessed, police on July 13 found the corpse of a teenage girl in the woods. Her identity has not been released, nor has the cause of death.

One of the male teens has no fixed address, while the other lives in Yonago, Tottori Prefecture.

The remaining three girls live in Naka Ward in the city of Hiroshima, and in Kure.

The victim has been missing since late June and her family filed a missing persons report with the police. The identities of the teen suspects have been withheld because they are minors.

The adult, Taihei Seto, an unemployed male from Yurihama, Tottori Prefecture, admitted going to the site where the body was found but denies being involved in abandoning it, the police said.

The first girl arrested went to a police station in the city of Hiroshima on July 12 and said she had killed a friend.

Based on her confession, the police found a young woman’s body in the wooded area the next day and placed the girl under arrest Sunday. Initially, the girl said she killed her friend alone but later changed her story and said “all of us assaulted” her, the police said, adding that some of the six arrested Wednesday are friends of the girl arrested Sunday, but others weren’t acquainted with her.

The arrests of the six people Wednesday were based on the allegation that they, along with the girl collared earlier, were all involved in abandoning the victim’s body on Haigamine Peak in Kure in late June.

The police allege that the seven suspects and the victim traveled to the mountain by car.

After her arrest Sunday, the first suspect told the police that she went to the site in late June by car with the former classmate from downtown Hiroshima, killed her and dumped her body.

The suspect, who is not old enough to have a driver’s license, was vague about who drove the car and appeared to hide some facts, according to the police.

Some of the six suspects told investigators that they assaulted the victim in the car and beat and kicked her in the woods.

Before turning herself in, the first suspect allegedly told her mother that she killed the girl because she had “bad-mouthed” her via the Line messaging app.

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