National / Crime & Legal

Serial slaying suspect faces psychological evaluation


Police said a mental competency evaluation will be given to Vayron Jonathan Nakada Ludena, 30-year-old Peruvian arrested last month for allegedly slaying a couple from Saitama Prefecture.

The evaluation will play a crucial role in the investigation into six murders he is suspected of committing.

Nakada was arrested Thursday in connection with murders that took place in three homes in September. He has been charged with fatally stabbing Minoru Tasaki, 55, and his wife Misae, 53, on Sept. 14 at their home in Kumagaya, Saitama Prefecture.

Nakada suffered a head injury after falling from a second-floor window at one of the victims’ houses on Sept. 16 and lost consciousness. He woke on Sept. 24 and was transferred from the hospital to Kumagaya Police Station on Thursday.

According to investigators, Nakada denied involvement in any of the murders and said he does not know why he was being investigated. Police said they will carefully interrogate him to see whether his upbringing or head wounds had any effect on his statements.

Nakada is the 11th and youngest member of his family. According to an elder sister, he became more gloomy as he grew up and started spending more time in his room, isolating himself from society. She said there were times when he would refuse to go to school.

He came to Japan in 2005 and had worked various jobs at deli food factories in Sagamihara, Kanagawa Prefecture, and Tokorozawa in Saitama. He is also said to have worked at a car parts company. In August, he had been working at another deli factory in Isesaki, Gunma Prefecture, before he quit on Sept. 12.

Maria Espejo, 48, one of Nakada’s sisters, recalled that he seemed emotionally unstable when he temporarily returned to Peru three years ago. He told her that his coworkers gave him unpleasant looks, and that he could hear the voices of his deceased parents, she said.

“I want him to explain to us why he did such a thing,” Espejo, who lives in Lima, said by phone Wednesday evening. “Now that’s he’s recovered and regained consciousness, I knew it’s a matter of time until the police arrest him. He has to take responsibility for what he’s done.”

Espejo said she had not spoken to Nakada over the past three years but heard from a younger sister who is also living in Japan that Nakada had quit his job and was roaming around, saying things like “I feel I’m being chased by someone” and “I’m going to be killed.”

According to the police, several letters written in the roman alphabet, and apparently in blood, were found in the Tasaki house. They said, however, that even foreign language experts could not identify their meaning, as the letters seemed to have been partly smudged.

Police said Nakada said he wanted to return to Peru when he was first questioned at Kumagaya Police Station on Sept. 13.

They also said none of the victims’ houses were burglarized, and that they believed Nakada had not been acquainted with any of the victims.

According to the investigators, Nakada does not seem to know how to get around Kumagaya, nor does he have any acquaintances in the city.

The police found Nakada at the home of 41-year-old Miwako Kato and her two daughters, Misaki, 10, and Haruka, 7, all of whom were found stabbed to death.

The police have also been investigating his involvement in the slaying of Kazuyo Shiraishi, 84, given the similarity of footprints found at all three murder scenes, which are located close to each other.

“The police have the responsibility to scrutinize the suspect’s criminal liability by finding evidence to prove his involvement in all suspected cases,” said a senior officer at the Saitama Prefecture Police headquarters.

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