Hokkaido: Relationship trouble likely preceded murder of Sapporo woman

Akihiro Kumakura
Akihiro Kumakura (TBS News)

HOKKAIDO (TR) – Hokkaido Prefectural Police suspect that a relationship problem preceded the killing of a 23-year-old woman whose body was found in her residence in Sapporo last year, reports Nippon News Network (Jan. 17).

Last week, police accused Akihiro Kumakura, 43, of strangling Ayumi Kimura to death at her the third-floor residence in Nishi Ward.

On the afternoon of November 4, 2017, Kumakura, who is a former colleague of the victim, alerted emergency services after falsely claiming to have found her body in the bathtub of the residence, police said.

The results of an autopsy conducted on the body of Kimura revealed that she died due to suffocation.

According to a previous report, investigators said that the body of Kimura did not exhibit any external wounds. She was believed to have died two or three days prior to the discovery.

In the latest development, Kimura’s former boyfriend, whom she began dating during school, told police that they broke up the day before she is believed to have been killed. He told police that she said she had found another parter.

That parter is believed to be Kumakura. At the time, Kumakura was a co-worker of Kimura, who lived alone, at the Hassamu Central Hospital, located in the same ward.

Kumakura is believed to have visited her residence regularly. Two days before the discovery, the pair enjoyed a meal together, a witness told police. Police believe that a problem in their relationship preceded the crime.

“Unbelievable”

According to police, the arrest of Kumakura was based on a DNA analysis of evidence in the case. The suspect has declined to comment on the allegations. He was sent to prosecutors on Friday.

“It is unbelievable,” said Shinobu Hosokawa, the director of the Hassamu Central Hospital, according to the Sankei Shimbun (Jan. 17). “I extend deep condolences to the family of Kimura-san.”

Tokyo Style