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Witness saw Vietnamese girl walking away from school prior to discovery of her body

The body of Le Thi Nhat Linh, 9, was found near a canal (TV Asahi)
The body of Le Thi Nhat Linh, 9, was found near a canal on March 26 (TV Asahi)

CHIBA (TR) – The Vietnamese girl whose nude body was found near a canal in Abiko City was witnessed walking away from school without her bag the morning she went missing, reports TV Asahi (April 2).

A male witness told the network that Le Thi Nhat Linh, a third-year elementary school student from Matsudo City who went missing on March 24, was walking in an opposite direction from her school without her school bag and appeared to be troubled.

The witness’s wife said Le was “walking in our direction” away from the school.

“It wouldn’t be strange if she was going that way, you know, to go to school,” the witness’s wife said, “so that’s why it seemed suspicious. She didn’t have her backpack, she was just walking empty-handed.”

The body of Le was found in grass near the canal by a fisherman on March 26, about 12 kilometers from her residence. Police suspect that Le was killed in a location other than where her body was found due to a lack of signs of a struggle.

The results of an autopsy revealed that she likely died due to suffocation caused by strangulation, and she also had small injuries on her arms and legs.

Police are treating the case as murder and abandoning a corpse.

Suspicious individual

A suspicious individual was also spotted trailing Le in dashcam footage taken from a car in the area. In the footage, she was seen walking alone along a road that wasn’t her usual route to school, according to an investigative source.

Police are investigating whether a suspect could have waited for Le to be alone before abducting her.

Le’s parents departed for Vietnam with her body on a plane that took off from Narita International Airport at around 10 a.m. on Sunday. Le would have started her fourth year of elementary school this month.