• Kyodo, Staff Report


The body of a girl — arms tied behind her back, her face nearly completely covered with duct tape and with over 30 knife wounds — was recently discovered in an Osaka Prefecture parking lot, and a security camera recorded two suspicious vehicles stopping at the site shortly before the body was found.

Footage from the security camera, installed at a nearby company office, shows that two cars stopped at the parking lot in Takatsuki for about a half hour, according to an official at the company.

The video could help police identify the victim and determine who killed her and why.

The girl’s body was found at about 11:10 p.m. Thursday night in the parking lot of a logistics company, by the company’s driver.

She was found face down on the ground, wearing a white shirt over a black tank top, denim shorts and black knee-high socks, according to the police. No shoes, wallet or mobile phone were found with the body. The girl was 145 cm tall.

The parking lot, located about 2 km west of Keihan Hirakatashi Station, does not have a gate. It is in an area of farms and residential houses.

An autopsy determined that the girl, who is yet to be identified, was between 8 and 15 years old and died of air loss. She is thought to have died at about 7 p.m. Thursday.

The police have not determined whether she died by strangulation, or from suffocation caused by the adhesive tape covering her nose and mouth, investigators said.

Video from the security camera shows one vehicle arriving at the parking lot at 10:35 p.m. Thursday, and a second vehicle about five minutes later. The vehicles left at the same time at around 11:10 p.m.

Despite checking the lists of missing girls in Osaka Prefecture who are of high school age or younger, the police have not been able to identify the victim. Investigators expanded their investigation to include missing girls from outside the prefecture.

The police suspect the victim was killed elsewhere and taken to the parking lot, as there wasn’t a large puddle of blood or splattered blood where the body was found.

There were more than 30 cuts or stab wounds across the girl’s body, including on her arms, legs and stomach. Most were on the left side of her body, and some penetrated to the bone. There were also bruises on her face and head, and marks around her neck indicating the she may have been strangled by hand.

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