Last month, Tochigi Prefectural Police confirmed that a body discovered on a property in Mooka City is that of Manami Hirasawa, a 21-year-old bar hostess from Utsunomiya City who went missing in April.
According to Shukan Jitsuwa (June 11), the discovery forms a grim conclusion to a woman’s dream and a crime spree fueled by debt.
On May 18, police arrested Yasuhiro Ishizaki, a 42-year-old home equipment salesman, and Maya Tezura, 25, a housewife from Ibaraki Prefecture, for withdrawing cash from Hirasawa’s bank account one month before. They were charged with fraud.
Four days later, police used confessions from the suspects to locate the body of Hirasawa, which was buried on the property of the parents of Ishizaki. Her clothed body was was found face up, and an extension cord was wrapped around her neck.
Police said that a DNA analysis and examination of fingerprints and teeth impressions to identify the body. An autopsy revealed the cause of death to be suffocation.
In committing the bank theft, Tezura posed as Hirasawa.
“On April 6, Tezura went to the bank window as Hirasawa and removed eight million yen from her account,” says an investigator. “She used a health insurance card and utility bill for identification. Through security camera footage, she was later revealed to be Tezura.”
The suspects admitted to killing Hirasawa, telling police that they strangled her inside a car.
The body of Hirasawa was then buried on the property. Between late April and early May, Ishizaki had ordered a local contractor to dig up a part of the family’s land and cover it with gravel. The suspect told family members that he was establishing a quarry.
The motive for the crimes was money problems. Ishizawaki became acquainted with Hirasawa two years ago at a hostess club where she worked. Though married with children, he enjoyed playing around. But substantial debts due to a housing loan and gambling weighed down upon him. He had met Tezura, who was in a similar predicament, on an Internet chat site.
“It seems like they were in a relationship,” says a local news reporter about the two suspects. “Tezura, who has a husband and two children, also had money problems as she had just laid out cash for a new house in Yuki City.”
Hirasawa was born in Nagano Prefecture. After graduating from high school, she moved to Utsunomiya. An acquaintance tells Shukan Jitsuwa that she always wanted to run her own business.
“She was a bright and truly beautiful woman,” says the friend. “Since she dreamed of managing a restaurant, she worked not only as a cashier at an izakaya but also as a hostess at a couple of clubs, giving everything she had in pursuit of that dream.”
She saved her money steadily — right up until her life was taken.
“The culprits cannot ever be forgiven,” concludes the acquaintance. (A.T.)
Source: “Tochigi josei fumei jiken ninki kyaba-jo no yume wo ubatta shakkin-mamire yogi-sha danjo no guko,” Shukan Jitsuwa (June 11, page 44)