A 22-year-old university student who was arrested on suspicion of killing a 36-year-old woman at a love hotel in Tokyo’s Ikebukuro district last month also planned to help a teenage girl kill herself after contacting her on a social networking services (SNS) site for people expressing a desire to commit suicide, police said Tuesday.
Mizuki Kitajima, of Iruma, Saitama Prefecture, has admitted to killing Hiromi Araki at the hotel in Ikebukuro on Sept 12, but claimed she wanted to die, Sankei Shimbun reported. He is suspected of strangling Araki sometime between 6 and 8 p.m. that day. Araki's body, with her ankles tied, was found inside a large plastic bag by a hotel employee.
Araki left her home in Tokyo's Koto Ward at around 3 p.m. after telling her family she was going to a hospital. Police investigations showed that Kitajima checked into the hotel room at around 3:40 p.m. Security camera footage showed a woman entering the room at 5:50 p.m. Kitajima then left the hotel by himself at 7:40 p.m., police said.
Police said Kitajima told them he had been using Twitter, looking for people expressing a desire to commit suicide. He said Araki was such person and that he met her for the first time on the day of her death.
Kitajima also told police that another time before he met Araki, he had been in contact with a teenage girl who expressed a wish to commit suicide. Kitajima and the girl arranged to meet up, but when he arrived at the appointed location, with a cord to strangle her, the girl never showed up and her SNS account had been suspended.
The National Police Agency has been struggling to come up with ways to deal with so-called suicide sites on social media since a notorious series of murders in 2017 when a man admitted to killing and dismembering nine people aged between 15 and 26 at his apartment in Zama, Kanagawa Prefecture. All the victims had posted suicidal thoughts on Twitter before being approached by him online.© Japan Today