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Police: Club employees in murder probe drugged, strangled hostess in Akita

Rikako Ito
Rikako Ito (right)
TOKYO (TR) – Akita Prefectural Police on Sunday revealed that the suspects arrested in the murder of a hostess in Akita City drugged and strangled the victim, reports the Sankei Shimbun (June 10).

Between the evening of May 22 and the morning of May 23, law enforcement alleges that the manager of the hostess club Leggera, Tatsuya Kaneyama, 26, and Nana Akimoto, a 21-year-old employee, drugged hostess Rikako Ito, 22, with sleeping pills before strangling her with a vinyl cord.

On May 29, Ito’s corpse was discovered buried in the mountains of Taiheihatta. The body was covered in a blanket and attired in an evening dress. The cord was wrapped around her neck. The next day, Kaneyama and Akimoto were arrested on charges of abandoning a corpse.

According to the Yomiuri Shimbun (June 9), the cause of death was suffocation. On June 8, the suspects were re-arrested on murder charges.

According to investigators, Akimoto prepared the sleeping pills and blanket and Kaneyama procured the cord.

Kaneyama told police that the murder was carried out by himself only, while Akimoto claims the pair worked together. Nippon Network News (June 9) cites Akimoto in reporting that the suspects plotted the killing three days before.

As to a motive, both suspects claimed to have had troubles with Ito.