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Hiroshima police arrest man, 35, over murder of girl in 2004

Satomi Kitaguchi
Satomi Kitaguchi was fatally stabbed in Hatsukaichi City in 2004 (Twitter)

HIROSHIMA (TR) – Hiroshima Prefectural Police have arrested a 35-year-old man over the fatal stabbing of a 17-year-old high school girl in her residence in Hatsukaichi City more than one decade ago, reports the Asahi Shimbun (Apr. 13).

On Friday, police arrested Manabu Kashima, a resident of Ube City, Yamaguchi Prefecture, for allegedly stabbing Satomi Kitaguchi to death inside the residence on October 5, 2004. Police used the results of a DNA analysis of evidence found at the scene and fingerprints to identify Kitaguchi as a suspect.

In carrying out the crime, Kashima entered the residence at around 3:00 p.m. and moved up to the second floor where Kitaguchi was lying on her bed with headphones on. The suspect then stabbed her in about 10 locations, including the chest, back and neck. Her body was later found collapsed on a stairway in the residence.

Kashima is also believed to have stabbed Kitaguchi’s grandmother four times in the back. The woman suffered serious injuries that were not life-threatening. Kitaguchi’s younger sister, then a sixth-year elementary school student, took shelter at a nearby florist.

“This is painful and sad”

“My daughter would be 30 years old this year,” Kitaguchi’s father was quoted by TBS News (Apr. 13). “I am unable to see my daughter at a time when I want to see her most, and, because of that, this is painful and sad.”

During an investigation of Kashima over a separate incident in Yamaguchi, police linked the evidence from the Hatsukaichi residence to the suspect. The National Police Agency sought help from the public in the case, offering a reward of 3 million yen for information.