National / Crime & Legal

Police send alleged serial murder case to prosecutors

Kyodo

Police on Wednesday referred to prosecutors a 27-year-old man who has admitted to killing nine people, as well as dismembering and storing their body parts in his apartment near Tokyo.

Takahiro Shiraishi was served an arrest warrant Monday for killing one of the nine, Aiko Tamura, 23, from Tokyo, at his apartment in Zama, Kanagawa Prefecture, in late October.

Shiraishi allegedly lured Tamura, who had posted suicidal thoughts on Twitter, to his apartment by saying he would help her die. They had exchanged messages dozens of times since Sept. 20 before she went missing on Oct. 23, according to investigative sources.

But Tamura apparently had second thoughts about committing suicide as she sent a message to Shiraishi saying she was unsure about her decision to die, the sources said.

Shiraishi is suspected of choking Tamura until rendering her unconscious and then hanging her with a rope. Her dismembered body and belongings were found in his apartment.

He allegedly met her at a station in Hachioji on Oct. 23 and invited her to his home before killing her. The suspect told police that when he assaulted Tamura, she resisted.

Tamura is among the nine victims the suspect has confessed to killing. The dismembered bodies of eight women and one man, aged between 15 and 26, were discovered inside cooling boxes in his apartment.