TOKYO (TR) – A 31-year-old man in custody in the murder of his former girlfriend has had additional charges connected to the death of her missing boy dropped, reports TBS News (Mar. 22).
On Wednesday, the Tokyo District Court announced the non-prosecution of Kazumaro Sato, a resident of Shibuya Ward, in the dumping of the body of the son of Yukari Abe in a field in Kawasaki City, Kanagawa Prefecture sometime in late 2007 or 2008.
The court said that the non-prosecution was due to the expiration of the statute of limitations, which in the case of abandoning a corpse is a three-year term.
Police searching the field in Kawasaki 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.
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.
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 charges of murder in the killing of Abe.