Miyoko Sumida, 64, was previously indicted for the death of 66-year-old Kazuko Oe, whose body was discovered last November encased in concrete inside drum stored in a warehouse in Amagasaki City, Hyogo. She is accused of inflicting injury resulting in death.
On October 14, police discovered two unclothed, 150-centimeter-tall corpses under the unoccupied Amagasaki home of the 88-year-old grandmother of the wife of the son of the elder Sumida. One was the decomposed body of a woman, roughly aged in her 60s to 80s, and the other was that of a much younger, black-haired woman in her 20s or 30s. Neither of the bodies showed indications that the deaths were due to external injuries.
Investigators revealed on Thursday that following the accidental death of the 51-year-old husband of the suspect’s sister-in-law, Mieko Sumida, 59, during a sightseeing trip to Cape Manza in Okinawa in 2005, a life insurance payout of 10 million yen was issued.
On July 1, a group of nine people, including Sumida, her relatives, and friends, gathered for a photo session at the edge of a 30-meter cliff overlooking the ocean. While standing in the back of the group, the victim reportedly dropped to his death.
The grandmother has not been seen since 2003. Mieko Sumida and daughter-in-law Rui Sumida, 27, are under prosecution for stealing 3.7 million yen in pension money from the grandmother’s account.
A third corpse was found under the house on October 15. The body, whose sex was not known, had partially decomposed and been wrapped in a sheet.
Investigators believe that no fewer than seven people seen regularly at the Amagasaki home are missing. Among them are the grandmother and the younger brother of the apartment’s former owner.
According to Fuji News Network, a person close to the elder Sumida is aware of a total of six murders. In addition the bodies found under the Amagasaki home, the source says three other bodies were disposed of at sea, along the border of Hyogo and Okayama prefectures, and at the home of a relative in Takamatsu City, Kagawa Prefecture.