The 9-year-old Vietnamese girl from Matsudo, Chiba Prefecture, whose nude corpse was found Sunday in a field, was a cheerful and friendly child who liked to chat, neighbors said.

The body of Le Thi Nhat Linh was found near a drainage ditch at around 6:45 a.m. by a man who had come to fish in the nearby Tone River, police said.

The police have opened a murder investigation, although they have yet to determine the cause of death.