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Kanagawa police seek help of public in murder-arson case in Yugawara

KANAGAWA (TR) – Kanagawa Prefectural Police are once again seeking the help of the public in locating a person wanted for questioning in the killing of a 66-year-old woman who was found dead in her burned-out home in the town of Yugawara four years ago, reports NHK (Apr. 19).

At JR Yugawara Station on Friday, police distributed about information sheets containing an image of the man taken from surveillance camera footage, which shows him standing approximately 170 centimeters in height and carrying bag and a black backpack. He is attired in a black long-sleeved shirt and white face mask.

The footage was taken at JR Yugawara Station between 5 a.m. and 6 a.m. on April 21, 2015. That same morning, firefighters extinguishing a blaze at the home of Mie Hirai, who was confined to a wheelchair, discovered her dead atop a bed with a knife plunged into her forehead.

information sheets handed out at JR Yugawara Station
Officers handed out information sheets on the case at JR Yugawara Station on Friday (NHK)

It was later determined that the fire was intentionally started in the bedroom of the home, which is located near the station. One window of the residence was found to be smashed.

In a separate case, an elderly man was assaulted by a man wielding a steel pipe at just after midnight that same day.

Police believe that the person detailed in the information sheet is responsible for both crimes.

Police made a similar request to the public last year at this time. Persons with information on this case are advised to call the Odawara Police Station at 0465-32-0110.