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Okinawa police: Ex-U.S. Marine admits to stabbing woman reported missing

Kenneth Shinzato
Kenneth Shinzato

OKINAWA (TR) – Investigative sources with the Okinawa Prefectural Police revealed on Friday that a former member of the U.S. Marine Corp has admitted to stabbing a woman who had gone missing earlier this month, reports Fuji News Network (May 20).

Kenneth Franklin Shinzato, a 32-year-old former member of the U.S. Marine Corps, told police that he stabbed Rina Shimabukuro, a resident of Uruma City, with a knife. On Thursday, police found Shimabukuro’s body in a grove of trees in the village of Onna. Her clothing had a number of holes consistent with a stabbing, police said.

The location of her body was revealed during questioning of Shinzato, a resident of the town of Yonabaru. Police subsequently arrested the former Marine on charges of abandoning a corpse. “I dumped her motionless body in the trees,” the suspect is quoted by police in admitting the charges.

At around 8:00 p.m. on April 28, Shimabukuro, a company employee, informed her boyfriend via the smartphone application Line that she was headed out for a walk. After she did not return, her boyfriend reported her missing with police the following day.

During the investigation, police learned that Shimabukuro’s smartphone stopped transmitting data between one and three kilometers from her residence, an area that includes a number of factories. A Line message sent by her boyfriend was confirmed as read by her phone about four hours after her last correspondence.

After an examination of security camera footage in the area at the time of her disappearance, the vehicle belonging to Shinzato, who is currently a civilian employed at Kadena Air Base, came under scrutiny. Police began examining the vehicle of Shinzato on Wednesday.

On Thursday, police said that a DNA analysis of material taken from Shinzato’s vehicle proved to be a match with that of Shimabukuro. Some of the material found in the vehicle included blood.