MIYAGI (TR) – The wife of a man in custody on suspicion of starting a fire that killed her and two of their children in Tome City earlier this week had lodged a complaint with police about physical abuse by the suspect, it has been learned, reports TV Asahi (July 6).
Early Tuesday morning, Miyagi Prefectural Police arrested Yoshiaki Shimaya, a 40-year-old company worker, for allegedly setting ablaze his residence, located in the Hasamachosanuma area, less than an hour before, killing his wife, Miyu (31), daughter, Mao (3) and son Kyosuke (1).
In releasing new information about the case, police said on Wednesday that Miyu lodged a complaint with police in August of 2015 alleging that over a one-year period the suspect physically abused her after heavy drinking.
A total of nine persons lived at the multi-structure residence. The suspect’s parents, oldest son, grandmother and younger brother were all found safe after the fire started.
At around 2:30 a.m., a woman believed to be Miyu alerted emergency services about the blaze and that the suspect had fled. According to the Mainichi Shimbun, it is speculated that she exited the residence after the fire started but perished when she went back inside to save her children.
The suspect was apprehended on a road about 7 kilometers away from the residence about 40 minutes after the call was made. Upon his arrest on Tuesday, Shimaya, who was accused of arson, admitted to the allegations, saying he set fire to a futon with a cigarette lighter in a room on the second floor of the main structure.