GUNMA (TR) – A man and woman suspected of murdering another woman in the town of Nakanojo earlier this month met the victim on an internet site for persons seeking to end their lives, police have revealed, reports TBS News (Aug. 27).
On Thursday, police accused Osamu Kobune, a 34-year-old company employee, and Yuiko Yamamoto, 30, of no known occupation, of murder and robbery.
According to police, the pair used a metal baseball bat to bash Itsuki Seino, a 48-year-old resident of Kawasaki City, Kanagawa Prefecture, in the head in a parking lot in the mountains of Nakanojo early on August 1.
The suspects also strangled Seino with a rope and stole two of her bank cards and driver’s license before hurling her, while unconscious, off a bridge above the Hinatami River to her death.
Kobune admits to the allegations. However, Yamamoto denies the charges. “I didn’t kill and I didn’t rob,” she was quoted by police.
On the morning of August 5, a fisherman found the body of Seino beneath the bridge, which stands 30 meters above the river.
On August 7, police first arrested Kobune and Yamamoto on suspicion of abandoning a corpse. At the time, they both denied the allegations, Jiji Press reported.
Police also arrested a third suspect, Yui Tsuyuki, a 24-year-old temporary worker living in Chigasaki City, Kanagawa Prefecture.
According to police, Tsuyuki provided misleading information in telephone calls placed to the Agatsuma Police Station on August 5 and 6 such that Kobune and Yamamoto would evade arrest.
However, the Maebashi District Public Prosecutor’s Office released Tsuyuki on Thursday.
The two suspects got to know each other via a deai-kei dating site in June. Yamamoto then sent out an inquiry on another site for those seeking to commit suicide in late July.
Responding to the inquiry were Seino and Tsuyuki. However, police do not believe that the two suspects were planning to take their lives.
On July 31, all four persons gathered at JR Takasaki Station in Takasaki City, Gunma. Kobune arrived via car rented in Ibaraki Prefecture.
Police are continuing the investigation to learn the circumstances that led to the incident and the motive for the crime.