It is a murder seemingly without a motive.
On the morning of November 29, the body of Sadako Ohashi, a 50-year-old nurse, was discovered in the garden of a home in the Higashi district of Hamamatsu City, Shizuoka Prefecture.
“The estimated time of death is around 10 p.m. on November 28,” a person affiliated with the investigation tells Shukan Jitsuwa (Dec. 25). “She was stabbed in the neck with a knife, deep enough to reach her wind pipe and carotid artery. It seems that she was was caught off guard as there were no signs of resistance.”
Ohashi’s body was found lying on its side, with her clothes untouched. Her purse still contained her wallet and mobile phone.
“Robbery has been ruled out,” continues the aforementioned source. “She was known in the neighborhood for her calm and friendly personality. As well, people with grudges against her cannot not be found. There are a lot of mysteries in this case.”
The location of the garden is about 350 meters from Ohashi’s home, which she shared with her husband and second daughter.
“I just shared a meal with her last week,” says a friend who has known the victim for about 10 years. “Her eldest daughter had just had a baby boy, and she seemed so happy discussing him. She was a really a kind and beautiful woman.”
Ohashi worked as a care-giver at a home for the aged in order to contribute to the university education of her daughter. She also had a part-time job delivering magazines for a regional information publication.
At 9:00 a.m. on November 28, Ohashi left her home for work. When she didn’t return home by 11:30 p.m. that evening, her husband alerted police. Her body was discovered in the garden the next morning. The owner of the home is not an acquaintance of the victim.
“Ohashi had been distributing magazines to mailboxes of homes in the area,” says a local reporter. “It seems the murder occurred just after she finished. According to investigators, the key clue is that residents heard a woman screaming at around 10:00 p.m. that night.”
As well, eyewitnesses spotted a white van was spotted in a parking lot near Ohashi’s home and not far from the scene of the crime on the day of the incident. But a week after a full investigation had been launched, police have little to go on.
“There are whispers circulating that this case might be connected to the death of a 79-year-old woman in April,” continues the reporter. “She was stabbed about seven kilometers away from the home where Ohashi was found.” (A.T.)
Source: “Itai wa menshiki nashi no minka no shikichi nazo-darake no Hamamatsu bijin kaigo-shi shisatsu jiken,” Shukan Jitsuwa (Dec. 25, pages 207-208)