Police investigating the murder of a 16-year-old girl on a mountain in Kure, Hiroshima Prefecture, have arrested six other suspects in connection with the crime. On Thursday, police also impounded a minivan belonging to one of the group.
The case came to light last Friday after a 16-year-old girl, accompanied by her mother, turned herself into police, saying she had killed her classmate on Mt Haigamine. The victim had been missing since late June. The next day, police found the missing girl’s body about 20 meters off a path near the summit of Mt Haigamine.
The girl was quoted by police as saying she and her classmate had gone up to the mountain and they had got into an argument after which she killed her companion.
However, police said that several others were implicated in the crime. On Wednesday, they arrested Taihei Seto, 21, as well as five other minors (two boys and three girls), Fuji TV reported. All have initially been charged with abandoning a body, police said, adding that they believe Seto drove the group to the mountain in a minivan.
Further complicating the case is the relationships of the eight people. Though the girl who turned herself in was an ex-classmate of the dead girl, it seems that some of the people involved had never even met before the day of the murder.
One of the boys arrested was in a relationship with the girl who turned herself in, while Seto and one 16-year-old boy lived in neighboring Tottori Prefecture. It seems that of the six people arrested, two of the boys and one of the girls came from Tottori Prefecture to Hiroshima. Seto and the other two 16-year-old girls have been interviewed by the police.
Media have been reporting that the victim owed a sum of 30,000 yen to the girl who turned herself in. Additionally, the alleged murderer had told friends that she felt betrayed by the deceased after she was bad-mouthing her on Line, a popular smartphone messaging app. In response, it was decided that they should “settle” the matter and the group forced the deceased girl into Seto’s van. Initially, they said that an argument started in the vehicle, but now it seems that they actually started punching and kicking her while driving to the mountains. They continued to beat her and then strangled her to death after arriving, it is believed.
Hiroshima police say they are still trying to establish the sequence of events leading up to the girl's death.© Japan Today