OSAKA (TR) – Osaka Prefectural Police on Tuesday said that they have identified the body of a female found in a parking lot last week as that of a missing 13-year-old girl, reports the Sankei Shimbun (Aug. 18).
Natsumi Hirata, a middle school student, was last seen at her home in Neyagawa City on August 12. She may have been with a 12-year-old male classmate who also has gone missing. His whereabouts remain unknown.
At approximately 11:30 p.m. on August 13, a male employee getting off work found the body of Hirata, whose arms had been bound behind her back with tape, next to a truck in a parking lot for a distribution company in Takatsuki City. Her head was also wrapped in tape.
Hirata’s body was clothed in a black tank top, white shirt and denim shorts, but it did not have shoes. Her mobile phone was also missing. Police observed approximately 30 wounds possibly due to a knife throughout the left side of her body.
Police said she died from asphyxiation. The time of death is believed to been about four hours before her body was found.
Since police received no information about suspicious activity during that day, it is speculated that she died in another location and was later moved to the parking lot.
On August 14, the mothers of the two children reported them both missing. On the last day Hirata was seen at home, she departed at 6:00 p.m. The boy was seen leaving his home about three hours later. He said that he was going to meet Hirata.