TOKYO (TR) – On the afternoon of October 18, police officers working off a tip arrived at a fourth-floor residence in the Roppongi area and found a woman’s decayed body — later identified as belonging to Japanese-American Aisha Kumi Balletta (29) — wrapped in a sheet at the side of a bed.
According to police, the results of an autopsy revealed that Balletta died due to brain damage as a result of a skull fracture. Her body was found to have several injuries to the face and head.
Since the discovery, a number of news outlets, including evening tabloid Nikkan Gendai (Oct. 23), have been attempting to piece together details of the relationship between Balletta and the 40-year-old male occupant of the residence, who left the country for Malaysia on October 13.
“This building houses a lot of persons in the entertainment and IT industries,” a resident of Roppongi Duplex M’s tells Gendai. “The units are used for both residences and offices, and there are there are a lot of fashionable women coming and going. I have seen a foreign woman entering and leaving the unit on the fourth floor multiple times.”
According to TBS News, Balletta got to know the man in June. An acquaintance says that the man subsequently beat her, to the extent that one of her teeth was knocked out. In messages to the acquaintance, Balletta said that she was “afraid” and wanted to “separate” from him. “I have to get away from my boyfriend,” she wrote on October 3.
An employee at a bar tells Gendai that Balletta and her boyfriend fought inside after they first came in August.
Freelance web designer
Balletta is a resident of Aoba Ward, Yokohama. Based on her Facebook profile, she is a freelance web designer. In 2011, she was a finalist in the Miss Universe Japan contest. Her last post on the photo-sharing service Instagram was on October 10.
An examination of security camera footage taken in the building earlier this month showed Balletta entering the residence with a person believed to be the man. However, no such footage shows her leaving. Prior to the discovery, a person affiliated with the building found the body of Balletta and visited the police station to lodge a report.
The day of the departure of the man for Malaysia roughly coincides with the estimated time of death (10 days before the discovery) by the police. His whereabouts are sought on suspicion of murder and abandoning a corpse.