WAKAYAMA – Bloodstains near a shoe rack in the home of a man suspected of the frenzied stabbing of an 11-year-old boy in Kinokawa, Wakayama Prefecture, last week have been confirmed as the victim’s, investigative sources said, citing DNA analysis.
Although the suspect, 22-year-old Oshu Nakamura, has denied killing or even knowing the victim, who lived 80 meters away, police believe the bloodstains may prove he was at the scene when Toshi Morita died Thursday afternoon at the hands of an attacker with multiple bladed weapons.
The sources also said traces of blood were found in the toilet of Nakamura’s house but not in the bathroom or bedroom. Parts of goggles have also been recovered from his home.
A witness has described seeing a man wearing similar-looking goggles running away from the area at around the time the fifth-grader was stabbed multiple times in a vacant lot near his home.
Nakamura was arrested early Saturday on suspicion of murder. Police removed from his home three items with blades about 40 cm long.
Investigative sources said Monday that no bloodstains were found on the knives, although simply washing a knife in water can result in a negative test result.
The victim was stabbed repeatedly, sustaining nearly 10 wounds, including to his head and arms. He died from a stab to his heart, the sources said.
The police said it is unclear whether the suspect and victim knew each other.
Until two years ago, Morita was a member of a kendo club. Nakamura would also attend on occasion, although he is no longer a member.
Police said that Nakamura chased Morita’s 12-year-old brother with an umbrella in his hand in January. He was also allegedly seen standing in front of the victim’s house, peering into it.
NHK reported Monday that Nakamura had told a neighbor “not to worry” shortly before he allegedly carried out the attack.
NHK quoted police sources as saying Nakamura had been seen by a male neighbor shortly before the attack near the vacant lot. Nakamura had a knife in his hand, the witness told police.
As the neighbor found him suspicious and asked him what was going on, Nakayama told him, “I haven’t caused any trouble. Please don’t worry, whatever happens,” NHK said.
Nakamura headed toward the vacant lot, and the witness told the police that he heard a boy cry out shortly afterward.
An autopsy found that Morita died from massive blood loss after being stabbed in the heart. The police said he died instantly.
The autopsy revealed about 10 other wounds, including two to his head that were deep enough to break the bone and cuts on both arms, probably inflicted when he tried to defend himself.
The police said the locations and characteristics of the wounds indicate the attacker may have used several types of weapons, including a hatchet or ax.
The brutal murder caused alarm for children and parents at Morita’s school, Nate Elementary School. On Monday they said it was too dangerous to play outside, despite the suspect’s arrest.
Police officers and local residents stood near the school Monday to guard against possible further attack, but parents drove their children to school rather than walking. The school asked that they continue doing so until Tuesday at the earliest.
“I was shocked that such an incident can occur in our neighborhood,” said a 69-year-old woman who accompanied her first-grader grandchild to school. “I can’t let (my grandchild) play outside alone because I’m worried that something would happen.”