TOKYO (TR) – A 31-year-old man in custody in the murder of his former girlfriend has been hit with fresh charges in the death of her missing boy, reports TBS News (Feb. 7).
On Tuesday, Kazumaro Sato, a resident of Shibuya Ward, was charged with allegedly dumping the body of the son of Yukari Abe in a field in Kawasaki City, Kanagawa Prefecture sometime in 2007 or 2008.
Police searching the field last year found about 20 items, including tooth and bone fragments, that have been confirmed to belong the son of Abe, whose name is Hibiki. He would have been less than two years old at the time of his death.
An analysis of the mitochondrial DNA from a tooth fragment proved to be of a type consistent with Abe, meaning it belonged to a blood relative of the woman. As well, a toy known to have been used by Hibiki was found together with the items in the field, according to the Sankei Shimbun (Feb. 6).
Abe’s body was found buried at a cemetery in Sagamihara City, Kanagawa on June 24, 2015. In February of last year, police charged Sato with the murder of Abe. He allegedly plied Abe with sleeping pills before strangling her inside her apartment in Tokyo’s Shinjuku Ward in June of 2013.
Police first arrested Sato the day after Abe’s body was found on charges of abandoning a corpse. In December of 2015, a Tokyo court handed Sato a 10-month prison sentence, suspended for three years.
In December of 2014, family members reported to police that Abe had gone missing. Police then launched an investigation.
According to government records, Hibiki’s whereabouts had been unknown since 2007. Sato has previously denied having any knowledge about the boy.
Police searched the field in Kawasaki over a one-month period last year after learning that Sato and his then girlfriend, Chisaki Akiyama, who has also been charged in the case, had stopped there before abandoning Abe’s corpse in the cemetery in Sagamihara.
Sato still faces murder charges in the case. However, statute of limitations considerations will likely result in non-prosecution over the latest charges of abandoning a corpse, according to Nippon News Network (Feb. 7).