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Aichi cops: Man strangled elderly woman whose house was set on fire

Tsuchiko Hasegawa was found dead in her burned-out home in Nagoya in June
Tsuchiko Hasegawa was found dead in her burned-out home in Nagoya in June

AICHI (TR) – Aichi Prefectural Police have arrested a 29-year-old man over the alleged murder and robbery of a woman whose home in Nagoya was then set on fire, reports the Mainichi Shimbun (Aug. 5).

Sometime between 6:40 p.m. on June 27 and 8:40 a.m. the following day, Katsuhiro Ochiai allegedly strangled Tsuchiko Hasegawa, an 84-year-old executive at a parking lot management company, to death inside her residence, located in the Noritakeshinmachi area of Nishi Ward. According to police, he killed the woman after stealing cash from the residence.

A fire crew found the body of Hasegawa lying face-up in the ruins of the first-floor living room. Hasegawa was transported to a nearby hospital with burns to her face and feet. She was later confirmed dead. The results of an autopsy revealed that she died due to suffocation as a result of strangulation.

Ochiai admits to the allegations.

After the incident, Ochiai entered a restaurant nearby for an extended period. It was at this time that he became a person of interest to police, reports NHK (Aug. 5).

Earlier in June, a robbery that took place at the residence earlier in which more than 100,000 yen in cash and valuables were stolen. Police are questioning Ochiai over that previous case and investigating whether to apply arson charges.