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Missing Japanese woman: Chilean suspect questioned by prosecutors

CHILE (TR) – Prosecutors in the city of Santiago on Wednesday questioned a man over the disappearance of a female Japanese university student in France more than two years ago, reports NHK (Apr. 18).

Investigators questioned Nicolas Zepeda Contreras, 28, over the disappearance in 2016 of Narumi Kurosaki, 21, who was enrolled at a university in Besancon, eastern France.

After the session, Contreras did not speak with reporters. “Details of the hearing cannot be disclosed since it is part of a criminal investigation,” a Chilean prosecutor was quoted. However, the prosecutor added that cooperation with French authorities was ongoing.

Kurosaki, a Tokyo native, was last known to have returned to her university dormitory with the suspect on December 4, 2016 after they ate at a restaurant on the outskirts of Besancon.

Contreras returned to Chile on December 13 of that year. He is wanted by police in Besancon on suspicion of abducting and killing Kurosaki. He is also listed as wanted by Interpol.

Narumi Kurosaki
Narumi Kurosaki went missing in France in 2016 (Twitter)

In February, 2017, the Supreme Court of Chile rejected a request from French authorities to detain and hand over Contreras, citing “insufficient evidence.” The suspect had previously submitted a statement to the court denying that he killed Kurosaki.

Last month, Chilean investigators announced that they had agreed to allow French authorities to attend the questioning of Contreras. However, they were not permitted to ask questions.

After Kurosaki disappeared, French investigators searched forests outside of Besancon and other locations. However, the searches failed to turn up any significant evidence.