• Kyodo


The man accused of stalking and stabbing to death 18-year-old high school student Saaya Suzuki confessed that he was waiting inside her Mitaka, Tokyo, home to kill her, investigative sources said Thursday.

“In the afternoon on the day it happened, I entered Suzuki’s house through the window and waited there for her,” Charles Thomas Ikenaga, 21, was quoted as saying by Metropolitan Police Department investigators. They also alleged that Ikenaga spent several hours in the closet of her room Tuesday.

In an embarrassing twist that could lead to further criticism of their failure to save the girl’s life, it was revealed that officers at the Mitaka Police Station, where Suzuki reported being stalked earlier Tuesday, phoned her around 4:30 p.m. to confirm she was at home. She was believed slain around 5 p.m.

Ikenaga is believed to have attacked Suzuki soon after she returned and killed her in front of her house, where her body was found.

According to the investigators, Ikenaga confessed to entering the empty house through a second-floor window, and going downstairs to her room. Police believe the window was not locked.

Police also quoted Ikenaga as saying: “I came to Tokyo on Sept. 27 and bought a knife at a store in Kichijoji (in the adjacent city of Musashino) the next day.”

Police said Suzuki was stabbed multiple times in five areas of her body. She was wounded in her abdomen, the back of the neck and right shoulder, they said.

Investigators said Ikenaga was seen by witnesses atop Suzuki in the street and allegedly attacked her from behind while she was running away.

The police have turned the murder case over to prosecutors.

At a news conference Thursday, National Police Agency chief Tsuyoshi Yoneda said he hopes the MPD will humbly and earnestly investigate why the police failed to save Suzuki’s life.

“Taking into account (the consequences of the failed response by police) in Suzuki’s case, the safety of stalking victims should be the first priority,” Yoneda said.

Meanwhile, an acquaintance of Ikenaga’s mother living in Ukyo Ward, Kyoto, revealed on her behalf that Ikenaga called his mother to tell her what he had done soon after killing Suzuki.

The acquaintance said he seemed panicked on the telephone.

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