OSAKA (TR) – Osaka Prefectural Police on Sunday arrested an officer for allegedly murdering his girlfriend in her apartment in Higashi Sumiyoshi Ward, reports the Mainichi Shimbun (Jan. 25).
Takashi Mizuuchi, a 26-year-old head patrol officer from the Abeno Police Station, is alleged to have strangled Hikaru Shirata, 23, with his belt on Saturday morning.
Mizuuchi and Shirata, an employee at a hospital, became acquainted in Sendai in May of 2013, when the officer was on a one-year assignment in Miyagi Prefecture. Mizuuchi married another woman in August of last year but maintained his relationship with Shirata.
“She talked about breaking up,” the suspect is quoted by police, according to Sports Nippon (Jan. 26). “Then she became enraged and threatened to leak our relationship to my wife and supervisors. So I strangled her with a belt.”
When Shirata did not arrive for work on Saturday, the hospital contacted the management office of her apartment. An officer from the Higashi Sumiyoshi Police Station then found the clothed body of Shirata in her bathtub.
After interviews with Shirata’s associates and the viewing of the building’s surveillance footage, Mizuuchi’s participation emerged.
Immediately following the incident, Mizuuchi, who was off duty, practiced kendo at the martial arts facility at the Abeno Police Station. In the garbage of the facility, he disposed of the belt used in the crime. The evidence was later collected from a local garbage collection center.
“It is highly regrettable for a current police officer to be arrested for murder,” said Kiichi Omura, chief inspector. “In addition to praying for the soul of the victim, we will use the results of the investigation to deal with this matter in the most strict means.”