A construction worker was arrested Monday on suspicion of murder for allegedly dragging a woman onto a road and leaving her to get run over by a passing cab in Ginowan, Okinawa Prefecture, late last month.
Eyewitness accounts and security camera footage taken in the early hours of Jan. 27 suggest that construction worker Katsuya Koja, 30, dragged Mayumi Tamaki, 58, from a sidewalk to the center of a well-traveled road before abandoning her, where she was subsequently run over.
Police reports indicate that the pair had been drinking together immediately prior to the incident, with Tamaki possibly intoxicated and unable to move.
Tamaki's cause of death was determined to be injuries sustained after being run over.
According to the Ryukyu Shimpo daily, the 73-year-old cab driver stated that he “wasn’t able to avoid her,” though police are also reportedly investigating any negligence by the cab driver.
Tamaki had sought police assistance four times in January over financial disputes in her relationship with the suspect that had devolved into allegations of assault by Koja, according to the Okinawa Times. At Tamaki’s insistence, police issued verbal warnings to the suspect but did not file charges. They also advised Tamaki to contact authorities in case of an emergency and to take measures to protect herself.
On Monday, Koja, who had already been arrested over intimidation-related charges in a separate case, was also hit with the suspicion-of-murder charges.
The incident was initially considered an accident, however a call from an eyewitness reporting that a man was dragging a woman, and corresponding surveillance footage prompted prefectural police to investigate the possibility that Tamaki had been intentionally abandoned on the road.