• Kyodo


Police said Thursday they are looking for the killer of a 26-year-old woman found dead in her car with gunshot head wounds in Tatebayashi, Gunma Prefecture.

The woman, identified as Chihiro Suzuki of Oizumi, Gunma Prefecture, was found dead in the driver’s seat by a clerk at a nearby discount shop who alerted police at around 3 p.m. Wednesday.

According to the police, the woman suffered at least two gunshot wounds to the head.

Police said the assailant is still at large and they are attempting to contact Suzuki’s ex-boyfriend, suspecting he might be involved.

According to Gunma police, the man, who is in his 30s, was arrested last year for assaulting Suzuki in neighboring Tochigi Prefecture, where she lived until early December. Police believe the man might have tracked Suzuki to her new address.

Police said the man assaulted Suzuki on Nov. 1 in a parking lot outside a convenience store in the city of Sano. He reportedly climbed into her car on the passenger side and grabbed her wrist. He was arrested the following day but was released within the month after paying a fine and receiving a written warning from the police.

The man, police said, repeatedly sent Suzuki emails and called her after she broke off their relationship.

Suzuki, who moved to Gunma in December after being advised by police to leave the area, reportedly asked that access to her residence registry be restricted.

The police said they are investigating whether the assault is linked to Suzuki’s murder.

Investigators said Suzuki was found in the driver’s seat leaning against the door and the passenger door was unlocked.

Suzuki’s wallet was found in the car but not the murder weapon, they said.

The lot where Suzuki’s body was found is located about 1.5 km from Tatebayashi Station on the Tobu Isesaki Line.

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