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American to not be prosecuted for murder in death of Tokyo woman

Mariko Akitaya
Mariko Akitaya

KANAGAWA (TR) – An American male on trial at the Yokohama District Court in the death of a woman in Miura City last July will only be prosecuted on charges of abandoning a corpse, reports Nippon News Network (Feb. 1).

At a hearing on Monday, prosecutors announced a change in their case against Gregory Gumo, a 41-year-old marketer in the entertainment industry, in the death of 42-year-old Mariko Akitaya, whose body was found floating in Koajiro Bay.

Prosecutors had previously asserted that Gumo had murdered Akitaya, a resident of Tokyo’s Meguro Ward, and dumped her body. However, prosecutors on Monday changed their case, claiming that she was still alive at the time of the abandonment.

“In a misguided belief that Akitaya was dead, Gumo, the defendant, dumped her body in the ocean while she was unconscious,” the side of the prosecution said.

Prosecutors also announced that a murder conviction will not be sought.

When asked to comment on the changes to the case, Gumo remained silent.

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

With an autopsy conducted on the body revealing a large quantity of water being present in the lungs, the cause of death was determined to be drowning.

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. Gumo was arrested for abandoning the body of Akitaya on August 6.

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