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Man suspected in murder of woman in Roppongi still in Malaysia

TOKYO (TR) – On the afternoon of October 18, police officers working off a tip arrived at a fourth-floor residence in the Roppongi area and found a woman’s decayed body wrapped in a sheet at the side of a bed.

Later identified as belonging to Japanese-American Aisha Kumi Balletta, 29, the body was found to have several injuries to the face and head. The results of an autopsy revealed that Balletta died due to brain damage as a result of a skull fracture.

Prior to the discovery, Balletta was in a relationship with the 40-year-old male occupant of the residence, who left the country for Malaysia on October 13.

Flash Nov. 20
Flash Nov. 20

In providing an update on the case, weekly tabloid Flash (Nov. 20) has spoken with an acquaintance of the man who spoke with him over the telephone — and it does appear he will be apprehended anytime soon.

In speaking with a reporter for the magazine, the acquaintance confirms that the man is still in Malaysia. “About the Roppongi case, I did it,” he told the acquaintance by telephone. “I’m sorry. I can not decide [whether to surrender] now because my emotions are not organized.”

During a subsequent conversation, the man told the acquaintance that he fled Japan with 10 million yen. “I am still wavering about whether to surrender,” he said.

Heart of Roppongi

The residence is Roppongi Duplex M’s, which is located near the heart of the popular entertainment district. An examination of security camera footage taken in the building early in October showed Balletta entering the residence with a person believed to be the man. However, no such footage shows her leaving.

Prior to the discovery of her body, a person affiliated with the building found the body of Balletta and visited the police station to lodge a report. “It was a ghastly scene,” an investigator tells Flash. “It seems the murder weapon was a dumbbell.”

Tooth knocked out

Balletta was a resident of Aoba Ward, Yokohama. Based on her Facebook page, she is a freelance web designer. In 2011, she was a finalist in the Miss Universe Japan contest. Her last post on the photo-sharing service Instagram was on October 10.

Aisha Kumi Balletta
Aisha Kumi Balletta

Balletta got to know the man in June. In a previous report, another acquaintance said that he subsequently beat her, to the extent that one of her teeth was knocked out.

A reporter for a nationwide paper says that the man is a member of a delinquent group who manages a number of bars. In Roppongi, he is widely known.

“In 2014, he was arrested for stabbing a foreign customer at one of his bars after a dispute emerged. He fled the country at that time also. When he gets mad, he becomes confused and there’s no telling what he’ll do,” the reporter says.

According to Flash, the police are sitting on their hands: They have not obtained a warrant for his arrest. “When [the validity] of his passport lapses, we plan to apprehend him [for that],” the aforementioned investigator said.