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American arrested in discovery of female corpse floating off Kanagawa

Mariko Akitaya
Mariko Akitaya

KANAGAWA (TR) – Kanagawa Prefectural Police have arrested a 41-year-old American male following last week’s discovery of a women’s corpse floating off the coast of Miura City, reports the Sankei Shimbun (Aug. 6).

On Thursday, police accused Gregory Gumo, a resident of Yokohama’s Hodogaya Ward, of abandoning the body of Mariko Akitaya, a 42-year-old contract employee living in Tokyo’s Meguro Ward.

On the morning of July 29, the body of Akitaya was found wrapped in a brown plastic sheet and floating about 20 meters off the coast in Koajiro Bay. A towing rope had been used to attach the body to a concrete block.

Kanagawa police later said that an autopsy conducted on the body revealed suffocation to be the cause of death since a large quantity of water was found in the lungs. A DNA analysis confirmed the identity of the body as that of Akitaya.

Police also said that they believed Akitaya had been thrown into the water while alive and subsequently drowned. The estimated time of death was the day before her body was discovered.

According to Nippon News Network (Aug. 6), security camera footage showed Gumo and Akitaya together just prior to the incident. During questioning by police prior to his arrest, the suspect admitted that the two had been together but denied involvement in the crime.