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Kanagawa cops: American accused in death of woman likely planned crime

Gregory Gumo
Gregory Gumo

KANAGAWA (TR) – Kanagawa Prefectural Police revealed on Friday that an American male in custody in the dumping of a women’s corpse in a bay in Miura City very likely planned the crime beforehand, reports TBS News (Aug. 7).

Police have confirmed that Gregory Gumo, a 41-year-old marketer and promoter in the entertainment industry, bought a rope and plastic sheet identical to those used in the dumping of the body of 42-year-old Mariko Akitaya.

On the morning of July 29, the body of Akitaya, a contract employee in the cosmetics industry, was found wrapped in a brown plastic sheet and floating about 20 meters off the coast in Koajiro Bay. A towing rope had been used to attach the body to a concrete block.

Police utilized an analysis of the evidence and inquiries with vendors to conclude that the items used in the crime are of the same type as those obtained by Gumo. The suspect purchased the equipment prior to the incident, police said.

On Thursday, police accused Gumo of abandoning the body of Akitaya. Investigators are now working to apply murder charges.

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. The estimated time of death was the day before the body was discovered.

With the body showing no signs of injuries, police are considering the possibility that Akitaya had been drugged prior to the incident, according to Yomiuri Television (Aug. 8).

Mariko Akitaya
Mariko Akitaya

Security camera footage showed Gumo and Akitaya together inside a vehicle traveling in the direction of Atami City on July 27.

During questioning by police prior to his arrest, the suspect admitted that the two had been together but denied involvement in the crime.

Gumo is married and living with his wife and children in Yokohama’s Hodogaya Ward. He became acquainted with Akitaya, a resident of Tokyo’s Meguro Ward, through a dating site.

According to Fuji News Network (Aug. 7), Gumo attempted to travel to the United States on an international flight from Haneda Airport on the day that Akitaya’s body was discovered.