On August 4, a laborer discovered a body wrapped in a blanket inside a cardboard box along Route 202 in Sano City, Tochigi Prefecture.
The following evening, Haruyuki Iwasaki, 45, surrendered at the Shinjuku Police Station in Tokyo. He was subsequently arrested on charges of abandoning a corpse.
Then, reports Shukan Jitsuwa (Sept. 11), the story took a big twist.
“He (Iwasaki) said that he was asked to dump a body for money via an underground site under the heading ‘industrial waste disposal,'” says an investigator.
With that information, the name of another suspect surfaced. On August 11, law enforcement issued a warrant for the arrest of 30-year-old Toru Kuribayashi.
Police on the same day announced that an analysis of dental records and fingerprints had revealed the corpse to be that of 16-year-old Kana Shiratsu, who had gone missing from her home in Saitama Prefecture two years before.
On August 12, police arrested Kuribayashi on the same charges in front of Tobu Railway’s Omiya Koen Station in Saitama.
“For several months Kuribayashi and Shiratsu were living together in an apartment in Koshigaya City, Saitama,” says a local news reporter. “A search of the premises by police revealed underwear, shoes and various clothing items that appeared to belong to Shiratsu.”
Shiratsu was from Kitamoto, Saitama. A friend tells Shukan Jitsuwa that problems with others at school landed her in a juvenile institution, but at the age 14 she fled. A nationwide search was subsequently launched.
“According to Kuribayashi, he met her several months ago at a restaurant in Omiya,” says the same reporter. “Inside the cardboard box were some fancy pieces of jewelry, including earrings, that one would think were obtained from working.”
Police found a vehicle in Koshigaya that they believe transported the body of Shiratsu to the edge of Route 202.
When the body was found, it had no external wounds. After a legally ordered autopsy, the cause of Shiratsu’s death was not determined.
According to Shukan Jitsuwa, Kuribayashi, who was born in Osaka, is known for his ability to pick up women easily — but this time his playboy ways resulted in a most tragic ending. (A.T.)
Source: “Tochigi danbooru shitaiiki jiken no yami,” Shukan Jitsuwa (Sept. 11, page 196)
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