American to not be prosecuted for murder in death of Tokyo woman

Mariko Akitaya
Mariko Akitaya

KANAGAWA (TR) – An American male on trial at the Yokohama District Court in the death of a woman in Miura City last July will only be prosecuted on charges of abandoning a corpse, reports Nippon News Network (Feb. 1).

At a hearing on Monday, prosecutors announced a change in their case against Gregory Gumo, a 41-year-old marketer in the entertainment industry, in the death of 42-year-old Mariko Akitaya, whose body was found floating in Koajiro Bay.

Prosecutors had previously asserted that Gumo had murdered Akitaya, a resident of Tokyo’s Meguro Ward, and dumped her body. However, prosecutors on Monday changed their case, claiming that she was still alive at the time of the abandonment.

“In a misguided belief that Akitaya was dead, Gumo, the defendant, dumped her body in the ocean while she was unconscious,” the side of the prosecution said.

Prosecutors also announced that a murder conviction will not be sought.

When asked to comment on the changes to the case, Gumo remained silent.

On the morning of July 29, Akita’s body was found wrapped in a brown plastic sheet and floating about 20 meters off the coast. A towing rope had been used to attach the body to a concrete block.

With an autopsy conducted on the body revealing a large quantity of water being present in the lungs, the cause of death was determined to be drowning.

On the same day Akitaya’s body was found, Gumo was stopped by police as he attempted to travel to the United States on an international flight from Haneda Airport. Gumo was arrested for abandoning the body of Akitaya on August 6.

Later in August, Gumo was arrested for the murder of Akitaya. However, the prosecutor’s office delayed prosecution on that charge due to the need for further investigation.

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15 Comments

  1. My understanding was that the cops had given up on the murder charge some time ago and were pursuing an abandonment of body charge. What has changed?

    • Prosecutors had postponed the murder charge due to the need for more investigation. But they have now given up on that pursuit entirely. Prosecutors also changed their claims. They now say he dumped her while she was unconscious but alive.

  2. Yes that is my reading of it too. It sounds like they are saying that he thought she was dead and he dumped her. How is this different from the original charge of abandoning a body? It sounds like the same thing to me.

  3. Does Japan have no Manslaughter laws? Murder or not it seems like this guy was undeniably responsible for her death.

  4. Well, the facts undeniably indicate that he had something to do with her death but the cops cannot prove that he killed her. He is saying that she killed herself (pills) and he got rid of her body because he was scared. We will never know what really happened. At first we thought it was premeditated murder. Now we think she took pills and passed out or passed out and then died. If she was alive or not when he put her in the water is key. But either way he is, in a moral sense, at least to some degree, responsible for her death.

  5. His lucky day. No matter, he killed her! It appears incompetent Japanese police and prosecution work in a killer’s favor.

  6. I have additional proof gumo is a violent man and need assistance in providing this to the police. He embezzled funds from his employer and threatened to kill me when I confronted him, its all on tape. Put this scum away and lock the key.

  7. The initial reports I saw said she had water in her lungs so she was alive when she went into the water. Thus, it is a “murder” even if she passed out for whatever reason and he believed he was disposing of a body. At the very least manslaughter. The disposing of a body charge is technically incorrect because it was not a corpse that he dumped in the water. It was a living person. This is completely f&$”#ed up. Under the logic of this prosecutor no one can every be prosecuted for murder unless you have them on video tape killing a person. Total B.S.!

    • Japanese police and prosecutors simply lazy…. There is no doubt in the minds of those with commons sense he murdered that poor woman….

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