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French media identify Chilean suspect in disappearance of Japanese woman

Nicolas Zepeda Contreras
Nicolas Zepeda Contreras is wanted in the disappearance and likely murder of Narumi Kurosaki

FRANCE (TR) – French media have released the name of a Chilean national wanted in the disappearance and likely killing of a Japanese exchange student who went missing in France in early December, reports TV Asahi (Jan. 6).

Nicolas Zepeda Contreras, 26, is wanted in the disappearance and suspected murder of 21-year-old Narumi Kurosaki, a Tokyo native currently enrolled at the University of Franche-Comte in the city of Besancon, located in eastern France.

Kurosaki disappeared after she ate at a restaurant with the suspect on the outskirts of Besancon on December 4. She returned to her university dormitory with him that evening.

Several students in Kurosaki’s dormitory told officers they heard a scream late at night on December 4, though no traces of blood or evidence of a struggle have been found inside her room.

The whereabouts of Kurosaki remain unknown. Yet the suspect is wanted by police in Besancon and INTERPOL on suspicion of abducting and killing her.

Authorities in France confirmed that the suspect returned to Chile on December 13. He had been seen entering and exiting his residence, an apartment in a luxurious 16-story building in Santiago, until recently.

A person with a prosecution office in Chile told Fuji News Network (Jan. 5) that French authorities had “requested cooperation” in the case. On December 29, Chile was given the suspect’s name and the latest developments in the case.

However, the information appears to have been insufficient. “Without the provision of evidence from France, he will not be apprehended,” a person from the prosecution office was quoted.

Narumi Kurosaki was last seen on December 4
Narumi Kurosaki was last seen on December 4

Suspect threatened Kurosaki in video

Earlier this month, Japanese media transcribed portions of a video allegedly uploaded by the suspect in September in which he threatens Kurosaki over their relationship, saying she must “pay.”

According to NHK (Jan. 6), Le Parisien newspaper reported that police on Thursday searched a forest about 30 kilometers southwest of Besancon for evidence in the case. The location is where a mobile phone used by the suspect transmitted a signal.