AICHI (TR) – Aichi Prefectural Police have launched a murder-arson investigation after the discovery of the body of an 84-year-old woman inside her burned-out residence in Nagoya, reports NHK (June 30).
On Tuesday morning, a fire crew found the body of Tsuchiko Hasegawa, an executive at a parking lot management company, lying face-up in the ruins of the first-floor living room of the residence, located in the Noritakeshinmachi area of Nishi Ward.
Hasegawa was transported to a nearby hospital with burns to her face and feet. She was later confirmed dead.
The results of an autopsy revealed that she died due to suffocation as a result of strangulation. Police suspect that a person choked the victim to death before setting the residence on fire and fleeing the scene.
At approximately 8:30 a.m. on Tuesday, a female neighbor of Hasegawa called the fire department after seeing smoke coming from her building. The blaze was extinguished about one hour later.
When the fire crew arrived at the residence, the front door was locked but the back door was open.
Police are investigating whether the incident is connected to a robbery that took place at the residence earlier this month in which more than 100,000 yen in cash and valuables were stolen, according to TBS News (June 30).
Police are now examining security camera footage in an attempt to identify the perpetrator.