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Kanagawa cops: Suspects in murder of elderly woman assisted by her acquaintance

Yoshiki Saito
Yoshiki Saito (Twitter)

KANAGAWA (TR) – Investigative sources with the Kanagawa Prefectural Police revealed last week that two suspect in the murder of an elderly woman, whose body was found her residence in Hiratsuka City last year, are believed to have received information on how to carry out the crime from her acquaintance, reports NHK (Feb. 16).

On February 22, 2017, the body of Hiroko Toriumi, 80, was found atop a bed on the first floor of her residence by a relative. The results of an autopsy revealed the cause of death to be suffocation due to pressure applied around the neck.

In January of this year, police accused Yoshiki Saito, 23-year-old resident of Tokyo’s Ota Ward, and Kaede Kawashima, a 22-year-old resident of Nara Prefecture, of strangling Toriumi to death and stealing a fare card for a transportation network that belonged to the woman.

Saito and Kawashima became acquainted via an underground internet site. In the latest development, such a site was how a third man, 49, also became acquainted with the suspects. The man, who was not named, died from an illness in a hospital in November of last year, according to police.

The third man got to know Toriumi while they both were in the same hospital. Prior to the crime, he is believed to have provided the suspects with pertinent information regarding how she lived in her residence.

On Friday, police planned to send the third man to prosecutors on suspicion of robbery resulting in murder.

Second crime

The man is also believed to have provided information to Saito for a separate robbery in which Saito acted alone. On February 11, 2017, Saito allegedly broke into another residence in Hiratsuka and injured a man while stealing a bank card.

Police also planned to send the third man to prosecutors on suspicion of robbery resulting in injury for the second case.