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Mie cops: Woman found dead in river died due to drowning

MIE (TR) – A 29-year-old woman who was found dead after a male colleague allegedly shoved her into a river died due to drowning, police said, reports the TBS News (Feb. 12).

Sometime between midnight on February 7 and the following morning, Junya Kato, a company employee, allegedly shoved Hitomi Uta, 29, into the Inabe River in the town of Kawagoe.

At around 11:00 a.m. on February 8, an employee at a thermal power station on Ise Bay found the body of Uta floating in the water.

The crew from a local Japan Coast Guard office later retrieved her body. On Wednesday, police said that the results of an autopsy indicated that she drowned.

Police added that she suffered a broken bone on an unspecified location of her body.

Junya Kato, left, and Hitomi Uta (Twitter)

In a relationship

On February 10, Kato surrendered at the Yokkaichi Kita Police Station. “I killed a person,” he reportedly said.

Upon his arrest on suspicion of murder the following day, Kato admitted to the allegations. “We traveled together to the embankment [of the river] in her car, and I pushed [her into it],” the suspect
was quoted.

Police have found Uta’s vehicle parked at the Machiya Bridge, located about 3 kilometers from the mouth of the river at Ise Bay.

Kato, who is married with at least one child, and Uta worked together at the tourism development company Nagashima Resort Co. He is a chef at a hotel. She handled reservations. Police have also learned that the suspect and victim were engaged in a relationship.