JAKARTA – Indonesian police said Friday that the suspected killer of a 28-year-old Japanese woman found dead in her Jakarta apartment earlier this week may have targeted her for money and other reasons.
In a morning program of the Jakarta-based private television network tvOne, Audie Latuheru, detective unit chief at the South Jakarta Police Headquarters, said that before she was murdered, Yoshimi Nishimura had repeatedly complained to the management of Casa Grande Apartment, where she stayed, that she could not open her unit’s door.
Indonesian police on Thursday arrested a security officer who worked at the apartment in Langkapura, in Sumatra’s Lampung Province, while he was on the run after allegedly killing Nishimura. He reportedly confessed to murdering her to steal money.
“During his interrogation, the suspect confessed he always put something inside the door’s lock, so every time the victim wanted to open the door, she would be prevented from doing so,” Latuheru said.
According to Latuheru, the suspect said in his confession that he exchanged the $900 he stole into local currency.
The police, however, are still seeking other motives for the murder.
“There was no (romantic) relationship between the two, but we are still questioning him to know whether he liked her,” Latuheru said.
Preliminary autopsy results show Nishimura was strangled, the detective said. There was no evidence of sexual violence, although the 28-year-old was found wearing only underwear and a tank top, he added.
According to Jakarta Police spokesman Muhammad Iqbal, the authorities focused their attention on the suspect after surveillance camera footage from the lobby of Nishimura’s apartment building captured Mursalim and Nishimura talking.
In the footage, Nishimura is seen chatting to the suspect before they enter an elevator together. The man does not reappear again.
After analyzing the footage, Iqbal said police raided Mursalim’s house in the Ciracas area of East Jakarta and found Nishimura’s apartment unit key and her cellphone. The security officer, however, had escaped to his Lampung hometown.
Nishimura was found dead Monday on her bed by three people, including her driver and another security officer at the apartment building, after efforts to contact her since Saturday had failed.
On Wednesday, Nishimura’s parents, who flew from Tokyo, identified her body, which was then cremated Thursday morning at a crematorium in North Jakarta.
Nishimura had been employed at Yamaha Indonesia Motor Manufacturing, an Indonesian-Japanese joint venture company manufacturing motorcycles.
She joined three months ago and lived alone in Jakarta.