Police have put out a national alert for a man suspected in the murder of a local newspaper delivery woman in Fujigawaguchiko, Yamanashi Prefecture.
According to police, Tatsuo Tanaka, 57, an izakaya (Japanese pub) employee in Kofu City, is suspected of strangling 61-year-old Emiko Hirao with a plastic cord, and stealing several tens of thousands of yen on Jan 31.
Police questioned Tanaka after learning that the victim had visited the pub on many occasions. They were scheduled to question him again on Friday but he has vanished, police said.
Tanaka's mobile phone records show that he spoke to the victim numerous times before her death. DNA on Hirao's clothing was found to match that of Tanaka's, police said.
Tanaka is 164 cm tall, thin with salt-and-pepper hair. If you believe you've seen this man, notify Yamanashi Prefectural Police at 055-235-2121, or Fuji-Yoshida police at 0555-22-0110.© News reports