• Kyodo


A 34-year-old construction worker has been arrested on an initial charge of dumping the corpse of his 24-year old estranged girlfriend in the Sagami River in November in the city of Hiratsuka, Kanagawa Prefecture, and police are probing to determine if he killed the woman, after neighbors said they repeatedly witnessed the pair quarreling.

Seiji Kamioka admitted that he had dumped the body, the police said, quoting him as saying, “I had trouble with her in the car when I drove her back home.”

Ayana Yoshida’s body was found on Nov. 5 floating on the river. The corpse had been wrapped in two layers of futon, tied carefully with rope and weighted with two stone blocks, indicating Kamioka wanted the deceased to sink to the bottom.

Yoshida died of a fractured skull apparently after being struck by a blunt object. The police are investigating to determine if Kamioka killed her. Kamioka’s neighbors said they often saw the two exchanging harsh words in front of his house. It is believed Yoshida also asked acquaintances for advice regarding the relationship.

Investigators raided Kamioka’s house on Thursday on suspicion that Yoshida’s decision to leave him upset him and prompted him to kill her.

Yoshida rode in Kamioka’s car early on Oct. 27 after he drove her the previous night to her mother’s house in Yokohama.

According to the investigators, a security camera recorded images of a whitish minicar near the river after Yoshida disappeared. Checking the car, which they believe Kamioka drove, they found traces of blood, apparently that of the victim.

Kamioka wrote on Facebook on Oct. 29: “I’m worried that I can’t contact my girlfriend! Let me know if anyone has any information!” He denied being involved in her disappearance when he talked with his neighbors. Asked by Kyodo New for comment in December, he responded that he had nothing to say.