National / Crime & Legal

Stepfather allegedly killed Saitama boy after child told him he was not his real father

Kyodo

A 32-year-old man who was arrested Thursday in connection with the death of his 9-year-old stepson told police that he killed the boy because he got angry after the boy said he was not his real father, investigative sources said Friday.

Yusuke Shindo has admitted to murdering the boy and told police he hid the body after killing him, the sources said. He was sent to prosecutors Friday.

The body of Ryosuke Shindo, bearing marks of strangulation, was found before 1 a.m. Wednesday in a utility meter box opposite the family’s apartment, after his 42-year-old mother, a teacher, reported him missing Tuesday evening, according to police.

Shindo was arrested on suspicion of abandoning the child’s body in the utility meter box.

The boy’s mother married Shindo in December.

The unemployed stepfather has told investigators he scolded Ryosuke because he lost a hat, and the boy answered back, the sources said.

Shindo told his wife on Tuesday evening that the boy had gone to a class at an English conversation school, but the child did not return home at the expected time. The police determined the boy never arrived at the school.

The body was found clothed in a T-shirt and shorts but without shoes, and an autopsy found that he died of suffocation.

Investigative sources said Friday that a rucksack the boy used to take to the English class was found beside the body, and police believe the suspect deliberately put it there to make it appear that the boy had been attacked outside the house on the way to his lesson.

The boy loved learning English and attended class once a week, according to a teacher. The day before his body was found, the boy failed for the first time to come to the English school that he had been attending since April.

The mother of one of his classmates said she was surprised to hear Shindo had been arrested, adding that the meter box was often used by children when they played hide-and-seek.

“I feel nothing but sympathy for the mother,” the 40-year-old woman said.

The apartment complex is a housing facility for teachers located about 4 kilometers east of JR Omiya Station.

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