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Iwate: Man, 74, accused in murder of elderly woman

IWATE (TR) – Iwate Prefectural Police have arrested a 74-year-old man over the killing of an elderly woman whose body was found with stab wounds in her residence in Ichinoseki City last week, reports Nippon News Network (Aug. 26).

On August 20, police officers working off a tip found the decayed body of Yoshiko Oikawa, 80, on a futon in the two-floor residence, located in the Minami Jukkenkoji area, with about 10 stab wounds to her upper body, including her head.

On Sunday, police sent Jinichi Sato, also a resident of Ichinoseki, to prosecutors at the Morioka District Public Prosecutor’s Office on suspicion of murder. The suspect denies the allegations, police said.

Jinichi Sato
Jinichi Sato (Twitter)

According to police, the murder of Oikawa took place on August 15 or 16. The discovery of her body was made after an acquaintance telephoned the Ichinoseki Police Station to report that Oikawa, who lived alone, had been out of contact for several days.

After her husband died several years ago, Oikawa began living by herself. She also served as landlord for an apartment that adjoins her residence.

Unpaid rent

Beginning in August, 2014, Sato was a tenant in the apartment. Two years later, Oikawa sought a court order to evict him over unpaid rent and other issues, according to the Sankei Shimbun (Aug. 25).

In September of that same year, police arrested Sato for theft. During the eviction trial, it was revealed that Sato sent more than 10 letters to Oikawa while he was incarcerated for the crime. The content of the letters was obscene, police said.

In February of last year, the Ichinoseki branch of the Morioka District Court granted Oikawa’s request, ordering Sato to vacate the premises.

Police began questioning Sato on a voluntary basis on August 25. Officers searched his residence that same day.

Police are now investigating whether the murder was connected to the dispute over unpaid rent.