NAGOYA – The Aichi Prefectural Police said Friday that the 19-year-old Nagoya University student who has admitted killing a 77-year-old woman last month apparently used her cellphone to take pictures of the victim’s corpse.
The police confiscated the phone from the student’s Nagoya apartment, where Tomoko Mori’s body was found. They said they were still trying to verify when the photos were taken and why.
The student, whose name is being withheld as she is a minor, was arrested Tuesday. She killed Mori by hitting her with a hatchet on Dec. 7, police said.
According to investigators, the student said she’d had the hatchet since she was in junior high school and felt “fulfilled” after killing Mori.
She also reportedly told investigators that she has had a desire to kill someone since childhood and allegedly admitted to poisoning one of her classmates at a private high school in Miyagi Prefecture.
The boy reportedly fell ill and NHK said he suffered permanent damage to his eyesight.
The police said they found books in the student’s apartment documenting major murder cases and speculate her interest in crimes and cadavers may have led her to kill Mori.
Meanwhile, a woman who belongs to the same religious group as the victim told the police that the teenager participated in its regular gathering at 10 a.m. Dec. 7 — the day Mori is believed to have died — and expressed interest in the religion.
She also said the girl approached Mori, saying she “would like to hear more” about the religion and the group.
The woman said she saw the two heading home after the gathering. They had apparently become acquainted when Mori tried to persuade the student to join the group.
During questioning, however, the suspect reportedly told the police she had felt annoyed at being asked to join the religion. They believe Mori died around noon that day.
That afternoon, when a member of the religious group visited the student’s apartment and asked where Mori was, the student said she had left at around 3 p.m., according to the police investigation.
They said the student left her apartment the next day and took an overnight bus to visit her parents, without revealing where that is. The police contacted her as she was the last person known to have seen Mori before she vanished. She agreed to respond to questioning and on Monday returned to Nagoya with her mom. She returned to her apartment while her mom stayed nearby.
The police entered the apartment Tuesday and found Mori’s body in the bathroom with her own scarf tied around her neck.