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Man accused of murdering 2 of his children before attempted suicide

FUKUOKA (TR) – Fukuoka and Kagoshima police on Monday arrested a 41-year-old man over the alleged murder of two of his children in Kyushu earlier this year.

Ryoji Tanaka, of no known occupation, committed the crimes before attempting to take his own life, reports the Asahi Shimbun (April 26).

On February 26, Tanaka allegedly strangled his son, 3-year-old Rento, and his daughter, 2-year-old Hina, inside a fourth-floor hotel room in Kagoshima City.

According to police, an examination of the body of Rento showed external wounds. “I wanted to stab [the children] to death, but I strangled them due to noise,” Tanaka said.

Ryoji Tanaka (Twitter)

Three children

The incident began in Kushima City, Miyazaki Prefecture on February 25. That morning, an employee at a commercial facility reported an abandoned vehicle with a Fukuoka Prefecture license plate to police.

Police later discovered that the vehicle had been rented by Tanaka, who lived with his three children in a public housing unit in Iizuka City.

At around 3:00 p.m. that day, police entered the unit and found a boy, 9-year-old Hiroto, dead inside. He is the adopted son of Tanaka.

Police also said on Monday that the cause of death of Hiroto was disease.

“I am sorry”

After police entered the unit in Iizuka, located about 230 kilometers from the hotel, the whereabouts of Tanaka were not known. However, they later learned that he was staying at the hotel in Kagoshima City.

When officers entered the hotel room, Tanaka made a run for the balcony. He then leaped, falling to a terrance on the second floor.

In the fall, Tanaka sustained unspecified injuries that required hospitalization. He was arrested on suspicion of murder upon his release on Monday.

“I’m no good, only an annoyance,” he wrote in a note found inside the hotel room. The note also included instructions for funeral arrangements for him and the children.

Hiroto is the son of Tanaka’s former wife. On Monday, a bouquet of flowers was found at the door of the residence in Iizuka. “I am sorry. Thank you,” another note in the bouquet read. It was signed “Mama.”