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Ibaraki cops investigated Filipino national suspected in slaying for up to 3 years

Misato Harada
The strangled body of Misato Harada was found along the Seimei River on January 31, 2004 (TBS News)

IBARAKI (TR) – Ibaraki Prefectural Police spent several years investigating a male Filipino national prior to his arrest in the killing of a woman more than one decade ago, reports TBS News (Sept. 5).

In the early morning hours of January 31, 2004, Lampano Jerico Mori, a 35-year-old resident of Gifu Prefecture, and two male accomplices allegedly raped Misato Harada, 21, and strangled her to death.

According to investigative sources, Mori had been under investigation for between two and three years. “About three years ago, Ibaraki police came and asked whether Mori was one of the persons shown in a company photograph,” a former colleague of the suspect is quoted by the network.

A reporter for Fuji New Network (Sept. 5) quotes a person living the residence of the suspect who says Ibaraki police regularly monitored the vehicle belonging the suspect.

Bank of a river

According to a previous report, Mori was living in Ibaraki at the time of the crime. The victim was a second-year student in the department of agriculture at Ibaraki University.

On January 30, 2004, Harada met school friends in Tokyo. At around 9:00 p.m., she returned to her apartment, located in the town of Ami, Ibaraki. She exited the apartment about three hours later, leaving word with an acquaintance that she was going out. At around 9:00 a.m. on January 31, her nude body was found 6 kilometers away on a bank of the Seimei River in the village of Miho.

Her bicycle was discovered about 8 kilometers west of where her body was found. An examination of the body revealed several deep wounds to the neck and chest.

DNA analysis

Immigration records show that Mori has entered the Philippines a total of six times since the incident. On Saturday, police arrested Mori after the results of a DNA analysis of material taken from the body of Harada proved to be a match for the suspect.

On Monday, the accomplices, both Filipino men, aged 31 and 33, were placed on an international wanted list with Interpol. They both left Japan in 2007.