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French authorities: Chilean suspect in disappearance of Japanese woman ‘extremely dangerous’

Nicolas Zepeda Contreras (right) is listed as wanted by INTERPOL for allegedly killing 21-year-old Narumi Kurosaki (Nippon News Network)
Nicolas Zepeda Contreras (right) is listed as wanted by INTERPOL for allegedly killing 21-year-old Narumi Kurosaki (Nippon News Network)

FRANCE (TR) – An investigation under way by authorities in France is steadily revealing a troubled relationship existed between a female Japanese exchange student who has gone missing and her former boyfriend currently wanted in her disappearance, Nippon News Network reported on Friday (Jan. 6).

French investigators have found that Nicolas Zepeda Contreras, a 26-year-old Chilean male, was exhibiting aggressive and stalker-like behavior towards Narumi Kurosaki, 21, a Tokyo native currently enrolled at the University of Franche-Comte in the city of Besancon, located in eastern France, prior to her disappearance last month.

Though released information on the ongoing investigation has been limited, French police are describing the suspect as an “extremely dangerous individual.” They have also learned that Kurosaki’s family and her close friends were opposed to her relationship with him.

Persons around Kurosaki described the suspect as having a “persistent and problematic personality.”

Police are also speculating that it is very likely that Kurosaki went to study in France in order to separate herself from the suspect.

December 4

Kurosaki ate at a restaurant with the suspect on the outskirts of Besancon on December 4. She returned to her university dormitory with him that evening and has not been seen since.

Authorities in France have confirmed that Contreras returned to Chile on December 13. Even with Kurosaki’s whereabouts still not known, French police believe that the suspect likely killed her.

On Thursday, police searched a forest about 30 kilometers southwest of Besancon for evidence in the case. The location is where a mobile phone used by the suspect transmitted a signal.

The day before, Chilean media reported that Chilean prosecutors said they would assist with the case and that French authorities have issued an arrest warrant for Contreras, who is also listed as wanted by INTERPOL.

“Just your average normal couple”

The suspect and Kurosaki together attended the University of Tsukuba, located in Japan’s Ibaraki Prefecture. Last July, a Chilean student who knew Contreras told Nippon News Network that they saw him with Kurosaki in Japan.

“Kurosaki was studying social science, and she was saying that she wanted to go to Chile someday,” the student said.

“I then ran across Kurosaki at a kaiten [conveyor-belt] sushi restaurant. [The suspect] said to me, ‘I’m Chilean and the two of us are dating,” the student said. “They were really just your average, normal couple. They seemed very happy together and they were truly just normal, so I was shocked when I heard about the case.”

She “did some bad things”

Kurosaki then started studying in Besancon, France, some two months later in September — the same month Contreras uploaded a video where he spoke English as he described conditions that she had to follow “in order to keep this relationship” because she “did some bad things.”

In the video, Contreras says that some of the conditions would be imposed upon Kurosaki “forever.”

Posed as Kurosaki on social media

Contreras is also believed to have posed as Kurosaki in posting messages on social media in a bid to throw off investigators, according to Nippon News Network (Jan. 5).

On December 7, Contreras likely posted a message from Kurosaki’s Facebook account saying, “I broke up with my boyfriend.”

Investigators concluded that Contreras was actively trying to impede their investigation after learning that the post was made from his device.