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Wakayama: Man accused of murdering wife was insurance beneficiary

Takashi Noda
Takashi Noda made the murder of his wife appear to be an accidental drowning, according to police (Twitter)

WAKAYAMA (TR) – Investigative source with the Wakayama Prefectural Police revealed on Sunday that a a 29-year-old man accused of murdering his wife during a diving excursion last year was listed as the beneficiary of two life insurance companies, reports the Sankei Shimbun (Apr. 22).

According to the sources, Takashi Noda, a driver living in Osaka City’s Tennoji Ward, was listed as the beneficiary of a total of 50 million yen for polices taken out on the life of his wife, 28-year-old Shiho, who died in July of last year.

On the afternoon of July 18, Noda allegedly killed his wife, 28-year-old Shiho, by forcing her head under water to the sandy shoal below during a snorkeling trip about 50 meters from shore in the town of Shirahama, Wakayama.

Noda, who has been accused of murder, has declined to comment on the allegations.

On the day of the incident, Noda claimed he found his wife floating in the water after he returned from the bathroom. She was later transported to a hospital in a state of cardiac arrest. She died two days later due to brain damage from lack of oxygen.

Police launched an investigation after the emergence of several suspicious details in the case. First, doctors discovered a large quantity of sand in Shio’s body while she was in the hospital. Further, she possessed a diving license, which would make accidental drowning unlikely on a day when there were no records of big waves or strong wind.

During interviews with the suspect, police learned that he and his wife were considering divorce due to financial trouble and problems connected to his seeing other women.

The arrest was the second for Noda. Police first apprehended him over the theft of merchandise valued at more than 100,000 yen from pet-related company that formerly employed him in Osaka in October and November of last year. During questioning, he said, “I didn’t have any money.”