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Tokyo cops suspect Kodansha editor strangled wife to death

Park Jung-hyun has been accused of strangling his wife to death in August of last year
Park Jung-hyun has been accused of strangling his wife to death in August of last year

TOKYO (TR) – Tokyo Metropolitan Police suspect that an editor at publisher Kodansha strangled his wife to death last year, a claim he denies, reports TV Asahi (Jan. 11).

Park Jung-hyun, a 41-year-old deputy editor for the magazine Weekly Morning, has told police that his wife, 38-year-old Kanako, committed suicide in the residence they share in Bunkyo Ward early on August 9.

“My wife used my jacket to hang herself from a railing on the stairs between the first and second floor,” police quoted Park, who was arrested on murder charges on Tuesday.

At around 2:50 a.m. on August 9, Park telephoned emergency services to report that his “wife had collapsed.” Officers arriving at the residence found the Kanako lying face-up at the base of a staircase. She was confirmed dead about one hour later at a nearby hospital.

According to police, the woman’s body had no noticeable signs of trauma that would result in death. An autopsy later revealed the cause of death to be suffocation due to pressure applied around the neck.

Park, who at the time lived in the residence with his wife and their four children, initially claimed that his wife “fell down the stairs.” However, he later changed his story, saying she took her own life.

Urine detected in a bedroom

An examination of security camera footage by police did not reveal an intruder in the residence at the time of the incident. As well, investigators found blood belonging to Kanako at several locations away from the staircase, including a bedroom, according to the Mainichi Shimbun (Jan. 11).

Police suspect that Park strangled his wife in the bedroom and moved her corpse to the staircase. Urine, which can be released by a strangulation victim, was also detected on a futon in a bedroom.

Park joined Kodansha in 1999. The suspect was the editor in charge of the manga “Attack on Titan” upon its launch in Bessatsu Shonen Magazine in 2009. In June of last year, he moved to the editorial department for Weekly Morning.