NIIGATA (TR) – Niigata Prefectural Police are investigating what is believed to have been a murder-suicide after the bodies of three persons were found in a residence in the village of Sekikawa on Tuesday, reports the Sankei Shimbun (Mar. 8).
At around 5 p.m., police working off a tip found the bodies of Kazui Togashi, 71, and her mother-in-law, 95-year-old Matsu, atop futons in a first-floor bedroom with marks consistent with strangulation on their necks. About two and a half hours later, Muneo Togashi, the 72-year-old husband of Kazui, was found hanged in a shed on the property.
According to police, the interior of the residence showed no signs of having been ransacked. Though the causes of death are under investigation, it is believed that Muneo strangled his wife and mother before hanging himself.
Police entered the residence after the the bodies of Kazui and Matsu were found by Muneo’s younger sister, who had been alerted by a neighbor who noticed an accumulation of newspapers outside the residence. She later told police that Matsu received care from an outside nurse but was not bedridden.
A neighbor told NHK (Mar. 7) that Muneo played a key role in the village as a farmer. However, he began suffering from a physical ailment last year.