National / Crime & Legal

Ibaraki youth admits fatally stabbing woman and dumping her body in river


A high school boy in Tsukuba, Ibaraki Prefecture, has been arrested for allegedly dumping the body of a 42-year-old woman in a river, police said.

The 16-year-old, who attends a public high school in the city, has confessed to fatally stabbing Yasuko Shinji, of Ushiku, Ibaraki Prefecture, and dumping her body in a river in the city of Ryugasaki, also in Ibaraki.

“I was not acquainted with her,” the youth was quoted as telling the police. “I stabbed her from behind without talking to her and abandoned her body. I didn’t know if it was a man or woman when I stabbed her.”

Shinji sustained more than 10 stab wounds to her upper body, police said, adding that the cuts suggest an ice pick-like implement was used in the attack.

Her corpse was found floating in the river Tuesday. A male passerby saw her at around 4 p.m. and alerted the police. A bicycle belonging to her family was found near the scene of the crime.

The boy turned himself in at a Tsukuba police station on Tuesday night, accompanied by his parents. He told investigators he randomly attacked Shinji in Ryugasaki on June 30 after passing the area on a bicycle.

Shinji lived with her 76-year-old father at the time of the attack.

“I don’t know the boy. I could never have expected something like this to happen,” the victim’s father, Masaya, said. “She wasn’t working, and she didn’t have many acquaintances. I wondered why on earth such a thing happened.”

The neighbors of the victim also said they had never heard of Shinji getting into trouble with others.

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