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Okinawa police: U.S. civilian admits to raping woman before killing her

Kenneth Shinzato
Kenneth Shinzato

OKINAWA (TR) – Okinawa Prefectural Police said on Friday that a male U.S. civilian employee at Kadena Air Base has admitted to the rape and killing of a 20-year-old woman from Uruma City whose body was found on Thursday, reports the Asahi Shimbun (April 21).

Kenneth Shinzato, 32, told police that he sexually assaulted Rina Shimabukuro before stabbing and strangling her to death.

Police sources told the paper that Shinzato said he “raped her,” “clubbed her with a stick and carried her inside [my] car” and “stabbed her with a knife.”

Police found the body of Shimabukuro, who had been reported missing since last month, in a grove of trees in the village of Onna on Thursday after the suspect provided the location.

Police subsequently arrested Shinzato, a former member of the U.S. Marine Corps who lives in the town of Yonabaru, on charges of abandoning a corpse.

In admitting to the allegations, Shinzato said he put Shimabukuro’s body inside a suitcase and transported her to the grove of trees. He then took her body out of the suitcase in dumping her. Police suspect that he prepared the suitcase in advance.

On the evening of April 28, Shimabukuro informed her boyfriend by phone that she was headed out for a walk. When she failed to return, he 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. After an examination of security camera footage in the area, a vehicle within the U.S. armed forces and driven by Shinzato came under scrutiny.

On Thursday, police revealed that a DNA analysis of material taken from the vehicle matched with that of Shimabukuro.

Shinzato is married with three children. Shinzato uses the family name of his wife. His family name is Gadson.