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Gunma: Woman, 42, accused of dumping body of elderly acquaintance in river

Taka Hagiwara
The body of Taka Hagiwara was found with a plastic bag over her head in the Tatara River on April 15, 2015

GUNMA (TR) – Gunma Prefectural Police have arrested a 42-year-old woman for allegedly dumping the body of an elderly female acquaintance in Tatebayashi City three years ago, reports TV Asahi (Jan. 24).

Sometime in March, 2015, Kazuko Ochiai allegedly dumped the body of Taka Hagiwara, an 84-year-old resident of Ashikaga City, Tochigi Prefecture, in the Tatara River in the Hinatacho area of Tatebayashi.

Ochiai has declined to comment on the allegations, according to the Tatebashi Police Station

Ochiai and Hagiwara were acquainted through their work in the cosmetics industry, police said. Hagiwara was reported missing on March 25, 2015. Her body was found with a plastic bag over her head and a handkerchief around her neck in the river on April 15 of that same year.

During the investigation, police found a jacket stained with Hagiwara’s blood inside a vehicle in a parking lot in Gunma. At the time, media reports indicated that the car belonged to a woman in her 40s.

As well, several million yen were withdrawn from Hagiwara’s bank account on the day she disappeared. Surveillance camera footage showed Hagiwara with another woman at an ATM.

Police expect to also arrest Ochiai on murder charges.