Police on Wednesday found the body of a man inside a drum which had been dropped in the sea at Bizen, Okayama Prefecture. The man is believed to be on the missing people related to the case of Miyoko Sumida, in which up to eight people are believed either dead or missing.
Sumida and her household are believed to be responsible for the assault, confinement and deaths of several individuals in Hyogo Prefecture. Police have been questioning acquaintances of Sumida in connection with the case after three bodies were found at a house in Amagasaki, Hyogo Prefecture on Oct 14-15.
Officers last week searched the condominium and a warehouse, on suspicion that several parties connected to Sumida may have been involved in possible murders. Following a tip from one of Sumida's acquaintances, police recovered the body of a man believed to have been between 50-60 years of age at the time of his death.
The naked body of the man was found in a metal drum filled with concrete that had been sunk into the ocean in Okayama Prefecture in the summer of 2011.
Although a formal identification has not yet been made, police believe the body to be that of 54-year-old Jiro Hashimoto, who has been missing since 2011. According to their source, Hashimoto was related to one of Sumida's sisters and briefly lived in her house in 2011, following which he was confined and assaulted.
Sumida, 64, was indicted with others in a separate case in February this year for the assault resulting in death of a 66-year-old woman whose body was also found inside a metal drum filled with concrete at a warehouse in Amagasaki in November 2011.© Japan Today