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Chilean man denies killing missing Japanese woman in France

Nicolas Zepeda Contreras appeared at the Supreme Court in Santiago on Tuesday

CHILE (TR) – A Chilean man wanted by French authorities in the alleged murder and disappearance of a 21-year-old Japanese exchange student has denied the allegations, it was revealed on Tuesday, reports Sankei Shimbun (Feb. 15).

In a statement submitted to Chilean investigators in late December, Nicolas Zepeda Contreras, 26, denied killing former girlfriend Narumi Kurosaki, 21, a Tokyo native enrolled at a university in Besancon, eastern France, where she was studying.

Kurosaki was last known to have returned to her university dormitory with the suspect on December 4 after they ate at a restaurant on the outskirts of Besancon. Several students at her dormitory told police they heard a scream late that night.

In the statement, Contreras admitted to meeting Kurosaki on the night of December 4, but he claims he left her room that day. He also said that he has not heard from her since then.

Authorities in France confirmed that the suspect returned to Chile on December 13. On February 3, the Supreme Court of Chile rejected a request from French authorities to detain and hand over Contreras, citing “insufficient evidence.” However, the court did prohibit him from leaving the country for two months.

The whereabouts of Kurosaki remain unknown. Yet the suspect is wanted by police in Besancon on suspicion of abducting and killing her. He is also listed as wanted by Interpol (International Criminal Police Organization).

On Tuesday, Contreras appeared at the Supreme Court in Santiago to receive information related to the extradition request by French authorities and the travel ban.