An American man charged with murdering a woman and dumping her body in a bay in Kanagawa Prefecture, remained silent on the opening day of his trial at the Yokohama District Court.
Gregory Joseph Gumo, 41, who lives in Yokohama, is charged with the murder of Tokyo resident Mariko Akitaya, 42, in July. He told the court Friday he has nothing to say and his lawyer entered no plea, Fuji TV reported Saturday.
Akitaya's body was found floating in Koajiro Bay, Miura, on the morning of July 29.
Gumo, who described himself as self-employed, was detained on July 29 at Haneda International Airport while waiting to board an evening flight to the U.S., and formally charged on Aug 6.
The court heard that Akitaya was found wrapped in a sheet and bound with rope and with a concrete block attached to it. There were no external signs of injury on the body which was clothed. An autopsy revealed water in her lungs and that she was drugged and then dumped in the bay.
Police discovered tracks in the sand near where the body was found, indicating that she had been dragged to the water's edge before being put in a canoe and taken out to the bay.
Police subsequently discovered that Gumo had purchased the sheet and rope prior to the murder.
Police said they heard from locals that Gumo was familiar with the area because he frequently fished there. They also learned that Gumo and Akitaya became acquainted after meeting on an Internet dating site in April.
Street surveillance camera footage also showed the two riding in a car, belonging to Gumo's wife, in the area a few hours before the woman's body was found.
Gumo and his Japanese wife have three children.© Japan Today