On the evening of June 24, Tokyo Metropolitan Police unearthed the body of Yukari Abe, which had been wrapped in a blue sheet and buried between some of the graves of a cemetery in Sagamihara City, Kanagawa Prefecture.
The day after the discovery, police arrested Kazumaro Sato, 29, Abe’s former boyfriend, and another of his former girlfriends, Chisaki Akiyama, 23, for allegedly abandoning the victim’s corpse.
According to Shukan Jitsuwa (July 16), the case is a twisted tale of two-timing and debt that police speculate led to violence.
“An autopsy conducted the day after (the discovery of the body) confirmed that it was Abe, a resident of Tokyo’s Shinjuku Ward who had gone missing in July of 2013,” says a writer for a national newspaper. “In December of last year, family members consulted with police about her disappearance. During the course of the subsequent investigation, it was revealed that Sato had been dating Abe and Akiyama simultaneously up until Abe’s disappearance.”
During questioning of Akiyama, she told police a number of times that the victim’s body had been dumped in the cemetery.
“The body was buried in the center of the plot for (Sato’s) mother’s family in which the grave stones are aligned in a ‘U’ shape,” says an investigator. “It was clear that Abe had visited that specific location a number of times as his car navigation system contained records indicating as such.”
Sato comes from a wealthy family. Along with his younger brother, he lives with his mother, a former radio announcer, and father in a three-floor, palatial residence in the Yoyogi-Uehara area of Shibuya Ward estimated to be worth 400 million yen.
“After graduating high school, he worked shifts at coffee shops by day,” says the aforementioned writer, “but at night he’d head out on the town in flashy suits. He was seen by neighbors going around like a celebrity, talking loud into his mobile phone.”
According to the aforementioned investigator, the suspects transported Abe’s body in a rental car from Akiyama’s apartment in Setagaya Ward to the graveyard on July 19, 2013. Abe’s corpse had been stored at Akiyama’s apartment for one month after her death. When a police officer visited the residence to investigate a strange smell, Akiyama told him that a dog had died.
The results of the autopsy were inconclusive as to the cause of death, but with trauma to the neck area evident investigators believe she died due to suffocation. No murder charges have yet to be applied in the case.
When Sato met Akiyama, she was studying filmmaking and practicing to be an announcer at Shirayuri Women’s University. Her parents, who operate a tea farm in Fuji City, Shizuoka Prefecture, graciously assisted their daughter by sending her 500,000 yen each month to cover her apartment’s 145,000-yen rent and expenses.
“While she was in school, she was a part-time hostess in Shinjuku and he (Abe) was her customer,” says an acquaintance of Akiyama. “When you think about it, given her wish to be announcer, it seems likely that he mentioned his mother’s past in radio as a means of appealing to her.”
Abe is from Ome City, Tokyo. After finishing school, she took up a job at a restaurant in nearby Tachikawa City. In 2006, she got married at the 17. Soon after, she gave birth to a boy. However, she divorced in 2007.
The victim’s son, who would be seven years old, remains missing. Sato has told police he does not know his whereabouts. An examination of medical records revealed that the son has been unaccounted for since September of 2007, which is around the time that Abe began dating Sato.
Abe eventually wound up in the in the sex trade in Shinjuku, and she, too, got to know Sato because he visited her club.
“She was broke, and was trying to make ends meet in the fuzoku biz,” says the writer. “Before she disappeared, Abe told her family that she had problems with debt. It is very probable that she then turned to Sato for a loan and trouble arose thereafter.” (K.N.)
Source: “Kyogenguse dora musuko to shirayuri joshi ga okashita sankaku kankei ‘kyaba-jo satsujin’ no hoji rarenai doki,” Shukan Jitsuwa (July 16, pages 204-205)