HIROSHIMA (TR) – Osaka Prefectural Police on Tuesday revealed that a corpse found in Hiroshima Prefecture last month is that of a missing man from Osaka Prefecture, reports NHK (Sept. 15).
According to police, the results of a DNA analysis proved that the body is that of Mitsuru Okano, a 40-year-old resident of Higashiosaka City.
On August 26, a search team found a portion of the body in a mountainous area of Higashihiroshima City, Hiroshima. Police on Tuesday said that the skull of the body showed signs of having been beaten.
Involved in burying a body
Okano is an acquaintance of Yutaka Morimoto, a 43-year-old resident of Fukuoka City’s Chuo Ward.
Earlier in August, police learned from a relative of Morimoto that he had been behind a crime that involved burying a body.
When investigators later found Morimoto at an apartment in Ikuno Ward, Osaka City, he attempted suicide by strangling himself.
On August 21, police arrested him on suspicion of violating the Stimulants Control Law. During questioning, Morimoto explained that he had lent Okano a substantial amount of money that was not repaid. He added that Okano was assaulted and died.
Drug trafficking ring
Police later accused Morimoto and 46-year-old Kozue Yasuda, who lives in the Ikuno residence, of abandoning a corpse.
Police allege that Morimoto used a vehicle to carry Okano’s body from the Ikuno residence to the mountains of Higashihiroshima. Okano went missing around August 5.
Police have also arrested two other persons, including the former husband of Yasuda, 59-year-old Hideaki Yasuda, in the case.
Police also said on Tuesday that Okano and the four suspects regularly came and went at the Ikuno residence, likely as a part of a drug trafficking ring.
Police are continuing the investigation to learn the circumstances that led to Okano’s death.