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American on trial for dumping Tokyo woman’s body refuses comment

Gregory Gumo
Gregory Gumo

YOKOHAMA (TR) – An American male on trial for allegedly dumping a woman’s body in July in Kanagawa Prefecture refused to offer comment on the charges as his trial opened on Friday at the Yokohama District Court, reports NHK (Oct. 30).

Gregory Gumo, a 41-year-old marketer and promoter in the entertainment industry, remained silent on allegations that he tied the body of Mariko Akitaya, a 42-year-old resident of Tokyo’s Meguro Ward, to an anchor and dumped her in Koajiro Bay. His lawyer also refused to offer comment.

On the morning of July 29, the body of Akitaya, a contract employee in the cosmetics industry, was found wrapped in a brown plastic sheet and floating about 20 meters off the coast.

According to prosecutors, Akitaya and Gumo, a resident of Yokohama’s Hodogaya Ward, met one another at Yokohama Station just prior to the incident and traveled by car to the border of Shizuoka and Kanagawa prefectures.

During this period, prosecutors say, Akitaya died. Gumo then attached her corpse to a towing rope that was anchored with a concrete block. He then used a canoe to toss her body and the ballast into the bay.

On August 6, police first arrested Gumo for abandoning the body of Akitaya.

The corpse exhibited no signs of external injuries. The approximate time of death was July 28.

On the same day Akitaya’s body was found, Gumo was stopped by police as he attempted to travel to the United States on an international flight from Haneda Airport.

Later in August, Gumo was arrested for the murder of Akitaya. However, the prosecutor’s office has delayed prosecution on that charge due to the need for further investigation.