The Tokyo Reporter

Chile gives France details of man wanted in alleged murder of Japanese woman

Chilean prosecutors said they provided French authorities with information on the Chilean suspect wanted for allegedly murdering a missing Japanese exchange student (TV Asahi)

CHILE (TR) – Chilean prosecutors said they provided French authorities with information on the Chilean suspect wanted in the suspected murder of a missing Japanese exchange student, TV Asahi reported on Saturday (Jan. 7).

French investigators have found that Nicolas Zepeda Contreras, a 26-year-old Chilean male, was exhibiting aggressive and stalker-like behavior towards Narumi Kurosaki, 21, a Tokyo native currently enrolled at the University of Franche-Comte in the city of Besancon, located in eastern France, prior to her disappearance last month.

A senior Chilean prosecutor told a press conference that “Chilean prosecutors investigated in accordance with a request from French authorities, and provided them with the results.”

When asked if Contreras is in Chile, the official replied that “information regarding that cannot be disclosed,” and declined to confirm whether they have questioned the suspect.

Chilean prosecutors said they responded to French authorities in writing, and also provided the bank details and credit card information of Contreras along with his location identification, Nippon News Network reported (Jan. 7).

French investigators plan to examine the findings and request for Chile to hand over Contreras.

A source involved with the prosecutors told TV Asahi that “the [case] will not be established in Chile as a crime” if the safety of Kurosaki is not determined, and expressed a negative stance toward the possibility of an early arrest.

Time-consuming process

The Chilean Supreme Court will decide whether to hand over Contreras once French authorities make the request, an official at a public prosecutor’s office told the Asahi Shimbun (Jan. 7).

But handing Contreras over could be a time-consuming process since the decision can be appealed, the official said.

Prosecutors and police in Chile will not be conducting their own investigations into the case because the alleged murder occurred outside of the country.

Kurosaki ate at a restaurant with Contreras on the outskirts of Besancon on December 4. She returned to her university dormitory with him that evening and has not been seen since.

French police searched a forest about 30 kilometers southwest of Besancon on Thursday for evidence in the case. The location is where a mobile phone used by the suspect transmitted a signal.

Investigators concluded that Contreras, who is also listed as wanted by Interpol (International Criminal Police Organization), actively tried to impede their investigation after finding that he posed as Kurosaki in posting messages on social media.

‘Extremely dangerous individual’

French police have speculated that it is very likely that Kurosaki left Japan to study in France to separate herself from Contreras, described by French investigators as an “extremely dangerous individual.”

Kurosaki’s family and her close friends were opposed to her relationship with Contreras, who uploaded a video saying she would have to follow conditions “in order to keep this relationship” because she “did some bad things.”

In the chilling video, Contreras says that some of the conditions would be imposed upon Kurosaki “forever.”

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