• Kyodo

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A man suspected of killing a Fukuoka schoolgirl was served a fresh arrest warrant Thursday after initially being held for allegedly abandoning the body of the 10-year-old.

Toshiyuki Uchima, a 46-year-old construction worker, has allegedly admitted strangling fifth-grader Miwa Ishibashi and concealing her body in Buzen, Fukuoka Prefecture, to cover up the crime, police said.

Uchima is suspected of strangling the girl at an acquaintance’s house in Buzen around 11:30 a.m. on Jan. 31. The police said an autopsy showed the cause of death was choking.

The suspect was first arrested on Feb. 1 for abandoning the girl’s body, which was found in a closet in his house, about 8 km from the acquaintance’s house.

The girl’s parents told police their daughter went missing on the morning of Jan. 31. She was set to meet a classmate that day.

The acquaintance was not at home while the murder is believed to have taken place, according to investigative sources.

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