• Kyodo


A 16-year-old girl in Sasebo, Nagasaki Prefecture, suspected of killing and dismembering her classmate Saturday, had no personal trouble with the victim, police said Tuesday, retracting earlier information that a personal grudge may have been involved.

The suspect, whose name is being withheld because she is a minor, told police she had no grudge against the slain classmate, and investigators have so far not been able to confirm any personal trouble between the two, according to Nagasaki police.

A senior official at Sasebo Police Station, who initially released information indicating otherwise, corrected his remarks later Tuesday.

The suspect reportedly told the police that she asked 15-year-old Aiwa Matsuo to come to her apartment, where she lived alone, with the intention of killing her.

“I told her (the victim) that I wanted to see her and asked her to come. I came home with her so I could kill her,” police quoted the girl as saying.

Several hundred people, including high school friends and their parents, went to Matsuo’s funeral in Sasebo on Tuesday.

“She was a cute one. I can’t take what happened,” said a woman who said she knew Matsuo. “I just hope I can do something for her dejected parents.”

The head and left hand had been severed from Matsuo’s body and the abdomen cut wide open when it was found in the suspect’s apartment, according to sources.

The suspect said she “wanted to kill someone,” and “wanted to dissect a dead body,” the investigative sources said.

The girls met Saturday about a week after arranging to meet, the sources said.

The suspect told investigators she and Matsuo went shopping in central Sasebo during the day and police are checking security camera footage to confirm where they actually went.

The police believe Matsuo was killed at the suspect’s apartment at around 8 p.m. Saturday, about five hours after she had left home. The suspect allegedly hit Matsuo over the head a number of times from behind and strangling her with a rope. A hammer and saw were also found near Matsuo’s body.

The suspect said she had bought a hammer and saw, the sources said. She also told investigators she has experience “dissecting cats” — one of the factors making police believe she needs to take psychiatric tests.

The suspect attended school for only three days in the first semester, according to the prefectural board of education. A teacher at the junior high school she graduated from used to visit her apartment once a week to talk with her.

After the suspect’s mother died last fall, her father remarried, acquaintances of the teenager said, adding she was scheduled to study abroad and that she began living alone in an apartment this past April, presumably in preparation for living on her own overseas.

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