SAITAMA (TR) – Based on a confession provided by a former gangster on death row, police believe human bones found in a forested area of Saitama Prefecture likely belong to a real estate executive who went missing two decades ago, reports TV Asahi (Nov. 30).
At around 1:00 p.m. on Tuesday, a repair crew working in a mountainous area of the town of Tokigawa found what is likely the lower-half of the body of Mamoru Saito, a 49-year-old real estate executive who went missing in 1998.
Investigators had searched for the remains of Saito without success in that same general area earlier this year after receiving a tip provided by Osamu Yano, a 67-year-old former head of the Yano Mutsumi-kai, a one time affiliate gang of the Sumiyoshi-kai.
Yano is currently on death row for ordering two members of his gang to carry out a shooting that left four people dead at a “snack” hostess club in Maebashi City, Gunma Prefecture on January 25, 2003.
This is the second such incident involving Yano that has emerged this year. In April, police using information provided by the mobster found the body of Shizuo Tsugawa, a 60-year-old real estate executive, in a mountainous area of Isehara City, Kanagawa Prefecture.
In the case of Saito, he went missing after a meeting in the Ikebukuro area of Tokyo’s Toshima Ward on April 5, 1998. According to information released in a court-related report in September of 2014, Yano said Saito was abducted and strangled to death over money problems that included a loan of 86 million yen.
Police on Wednesday were expected to begin searching the area for more bones and begin working to confirm the person’s identity.