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Niigata police: Man found in burned-out residence was strangled to death

NIIGATA (TR) – Niigata Prefectural Police on Wednesday announced the launch of a murder case after a man was found strangled to death inside his burned-out residence in Niigata City, reports Kyodo News
(Feb. 5).

At around 7:30 a.m. on Tuesday, fire broke out at the two-floor residence of Mitsunori Honma, a 49-year-old employee for a chauffeur service, in the Ota area of Kita Ward.

After the blaze was extinguished, emergency personnel found Honma, who lived alone, collapsed in the first-floor living room. He was later confirmed dead at a hospital, the Niigata-Kita Police Station said.

Mitsunori Honma (Twitter)

Pressure applied to the neck

The results of the autopsy revealed the cause of death to have been strangulation due to pressure applied to the neck.

An examination of the neck area showed markings consistent with strangulation via a rope, police said.

The report added that the time of death was early on Tuesday. As well, no soot was found in his respiratory tract, meaning he died before the start of the fire.

Police suspect that an unknown person strangled Honma, started the fire and fled the scene.