National / Crime & Legal

Shimane man, 72, held after woman missing since July found in his apartment

Kyodo

A 72-year-old man was arrested on Friday after a woman who had been missing for nine months was discovered at his apartment the previous day.

The suspect, Kaoru Sasamoto, denied kidnapping the woman last July, when she was 19, according to the police.

The woman, who has a mild intellectual disability, has been gone since mid-July. Her family alerted the police in September.

Now 20, she was discovered at Sasamoto’s apartment in Hamada, Shimane Prefecture, about 2 km away from Hamada Station, after another resident of the building called the police Thursday evening to say that a woman could be heard crying.

The police then came to Sasamoto’s room and found the woman crying and Sasamoto inside.

Last month, a neighbor called the police about noise from Sasamoto’s apartment, but the responding officer was turned away after Sasamoto said he wasn’t aware of any noise, the police said.