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Man took corpse of girlfriend to Nagano before Fukushima

TOKYO (TR) – Earlier this week, police arrested 27-year-old Yoshinobu Kumazawa after he was found with the body of his missing girlfriend inside a vehicle in Iwaki City, Fukushima Prefecture.

Since then, police have been attempting to piece together the activities of Kumazawa, of no known occupation, between the time Natsuki Taniguchi, a 20-year-old student at a vocational school in Tokyo, was last seen and the discovery of her body.

In the latest development, police have revealed that Kumazawa at some point drove the body of Taniguchi to Nagano Prefecture, reports Fuji News Network (Dec. 12).

On Sunday, police found the body of Taniguchi in the back seat of a car rented by Kumazawa in a parking lot in Iwaki. The following day, police accused him of abandoning a corpse. The suspect admitted to the allegations upon his arrest. An examination of Taniguchi’s body revealed undisclosed injuries, police said previously.

Taniguchi lived in a dormitory in Nerima Ward, Tokyo that is connected with the school. On December 6, a representative of the school telephoned her parents to tell them that their daughter had not attended class since November 29. The following day, her father visited the dorm room and found blood on a bed sheet and alerted police.

The vehicle was rented by Taniguchi on December 2. Security camera footage shot at the dormitory in the early morning the following day shows a man believed to be Kumazawa carrying a futon that likely covers the corpse of Taniguchi out of her unit.

Yoshinobu Kumazawa and Natsuki Taniguchi
Yoshinobu Kumazawa (left) and Natsuki Taniguchi

Concealed in Katsushika Ward

Police previously said that Kumazawa likely used the rented vehicle to move Taniguchi’s body from the dormitory to the residence of one of his acquaintances in Katsushika Ward where he concealed it for an undisclosed amount of time.

Police have now revealed that Kumazawa then drove with the body to Matsumoto City, Nagano, the location of Taniguchi’s family residence. Police did not know why he drove to the location.

“I am sorry that my beloved daughter suddenly passed away at the young age of 20, and I could not protect her,” the father of Taniguchi was quoted by TV Asahi (Dec. 12).

At some point thereafter, he drove with her body inside the vehicle to Fukushima.

Strangled to death

Kumazawa met Taniguchi while they were employed together at the same bar over a roughly four-month period. They both ceased working at the establishment around October, a source tells Fuji News Network.

Police are continuing the investigation on suspicion of murder. A nine-page note left behind in the dormitory that is believed to have been written by Kumazawa said that he strangled Taniguchi to death. In the text, the suspect describes jumping atop her and killing her.

“I killed a woman I have a fondness for,” the suspect wrote. “and I, too, would like to die right after her.”