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Wakayama police find corpse of woman in suitcases after body of her tenant discovered in river

WAKAYAMA (TR) – Wakayama Preferectural Police have revealed that a woman’s corpse found dismembered and stuffed inside suitcases in Wakayama City in January is that of the landlord of a man whose body was previously found in a river.

At around 5:30 p.m. on January 18, police received a tip about a passenger vehicle parked in the Kitajima area, near the Kinokawa River. “The car has been parked there from morning until night,” the person making the call said, according to NHK (January 19).

Officers arriving at the scene found a black suitcase case soaked in blood in the trunk. A red suitcase was found in the river.

When the police checked the inside the two suitcases the following day, they discovered the dismembered corpse of the woman.

Earlier on the day of the discovery, police working off a tip had found the body of a man at the base of a bridge in the same river, about three kilometers downstream from the vehicle. The body showed no signs of external wounds.

The corpse of Natsumi Hirayanagi, 38, was found near the Kinokawa River on January 18 (Twitter)

DNA analysis

On January 27, police said that the results of a DNA analysis on the remains of the woman proved to be a match for 38-year-old Natsumi Hirayanagi. Police also confirmed that the cause of death of the man was drowning.

Of no known occupation, Hirayanagi resided in the Inbei area of Wakayama City. She is believed to have died around the day before of the discovery of her body.

During the course of the investigation, police learned that the vehicle had been rented. Also, the mug shot on a driver’s license found inside resembled the face of the man found drowned.

Driver’s license

Police later confirmed that the man was in fact the owner of the license. Aged 59, his identity has not been released, reports MBS News (Feb. 6).

Police also learned that Hirayanagi had purchased her home in Wakayama City around last May. She later rented it to the 59-year-old man. Neighbors later witnessed the pair frequently arguing, according to the Sankei Shimbun (Feb. 3).

Police are now investigating whether any trouble between Hirayanagi and the man is connected to the discoveries.