crime

Body identified as 13-year-old girl; male classmate missing

45 Comments

Police in Takatsuki, Osaka, on Tuesday identified the body of a girl whose body was found in the parking lot of a distribution center on Aug 13.

The victim was identified as Natsumi Hirata, 13, who was last seen on the afternoon of Aug 12, Sankei Shimbun reported.

Police also said that a 12-year-old boy, who was Hirata's classmate, has also been reported missing by his mother. The boy, Ryoto Hoshino, told his mother he was going to hang out with Hirata at about 9 p.m. on Aug 12 and has not been seen or heard from since. Footage from a convenience store camera showed the two of them walking together later that night.

Hirata's mother said she last saw Natsumi at around 6 p.m. on Aug 12. When she returned home from work early the next morning, she noticed that Natsumi wasn't home, but did not notify police until late Friday afternoon - almost a day after the body was found. Natsumi had apparently taken a tent with her, police said.

Hirata's body was found behind a truck at around 11:30 p.m. on Aug 13. Her hands were tied with duct tape, which was also wrapped around her head. She was wearing a white shirt, black tank top, denim shorts and navy knee-high socks, but she was not wearing any shoes. There were at least 30 cuts on her body, some as deep as to the bone.

An autopsy revealed that the girl had been suffocated, probably about four or five hours before her body was found, Fuji TV reported.

Police said that about an hour before the body was found, a car was caught on security camera footage. It came into the parking lot and parked for about 30 minutes near the spot where the body was found and then left.

Police said Hirata's mother was not sure the mutilated body was Natsumi when she first saw it, but after checking the clothes, she confirmed the murdered girl was her daughter on Tuesday morning.

Meanwhile, police said Hoshino's bicycle was found on Saturday afternoon at Keihan Neyagawashi Station.

Local media also reported Tuesday that the pair had been having some trouble with some classmates.

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45 Comments
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The 12-year-old boy told his mother he was going to hang out with Hirata at 9 p.m. and she let him go. Times sure have changed. When I was 12, my parents would never have let me leave the house by myself at night, no matter who I wanted to hang out with.

32 ( +33 / -1 )

So the mother worked night shift on Wednesday morning, returned home on Thursday morning and then reported her missing to the police on Friday? Some facts are missing here. And deep cuts, some of them as deep to the bone? What are with these gruesome deaths in Japan? Earlier this year, another girl went missing only to be found to have been cut into pieces like meat. And the countless stories of murder-suicides of children. I wouldn't say that these types of crimes are uncommon in Japan anymore. Many people, including my Japanese co-workers, say that Japan isn't a good place to raise children. And I think I'm inclined to agree with them.

-8 ( +13 / -21 )

*night shift on Wednesday night, not morning.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Many people, including my Japanese co-workers, say that Japan isn't a good place to raise children.

Ridiculous statement.

5 ( +20 / -15 )

Ridiculous statement.

How is it ridiculous? That's their own opinions. And they're not necessarily incorrect. If you want to say that Japan is a good place to raise children, then that's your own opinion.

7 ( +24 / -17 )

When she returned home from work early the next morning, she noticed that Natsumi wasn’t home, but did not notify police until late Friday afternoon - almost a day after the body was found.

So, you wait 2 whole days for your 13 year old to return before notifying the police? pfffff

12 ( +13 / -1 )

There were at least 30 cuts on her body, some as deep as to the bone.

Perhaps the killer thought about cutting her up to better dispose of the body, but gave up?

-3 ( +3 / -6 )

The level of depravity is right out of a movie. I hope whom ever is responsible is caught soon. 2 cars in the parking lot is a little worrying. I hope it's not a group of people that are murdering children.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Sad. The story sounds similar to the Uemura murder in Kawasaki earlier this year. Busy mother, unattanded kids, they fall in with local chimpira, have some disagreement, and get murdered. I hope they catch the perps soon, but sadly it is likely they are "youth" and therefore will get away with a slap on the wrist.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

How is it ridiculous?

Because Japan is one of the safest countries in the world to raise kids. Opinions like that are based in fear, not facts.

1 ( +16 / -15 )

Japan is quite a safe place, but there are also some very mean and crazed people out there. For a generally safe society it has some of the most macabre and sadistic murders in the world. I hope the people responsible for this are caught quickly and given 'real' sentences.

13 ( +14 / -1 )

Sounds like a complex criminal case. Hope the police turn the new development into a genuine solution in due course.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Because Japan is one of the safest countries in the world to raise kids.

It is a safe place to raise kids, provided they aren't bullied by classmates, or beaten by parents or teachers, or are victims or random physical or psychological violence. And once these children grow up, they live in an environment in which suicide is a leading cause of death of young people.

13 ( +19 / -6 )

All readers back on topic please. Posts that do not focus on the story will be removed.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I feel my vigilante impulses kicking in

3 ( +5 / -2 )

The 12 year old boy looks about 9 or 10 in the photo. The fact that the mother didn't have a more recent photo to give police might give you a clue about what the family situation might be like.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

I could be wrong, but I think you'll find that the killer is actually another child. The whole situation sounds suspicious. The fact that she was asked to meet the boy at 9pm sounds weird to me. Was he involved? This is just speculation, but could either of these scenarios be the truth: SCENARIO 1 - The 12 year old boy asked her to meet him, then killed her. Maybe he blamed her for being bullied at school, or maybe he was bullied into doing it. If he then confessed his crime to his parents, they might've arranged to hide him away somewhere. This would explain the two cars meeting and the missing boy. SCENARIO 2 - Their classmates killed the girl (Maybe even accidentally while bullying her). They confessed their crime to their parents, and they're trying to cover it up. But then where is the boy? Other sites also say that the girl has bruises to her face and head, plus marks on her neck. It sounds like a very clumsy killing to me. Were the cuts a failed attempt to kill the girl? Were the cuts someones failed effort to cut up the body? Or was the girl actually tortured before being suffocated? This wouldn't be the first case of a child being killed by his/her classmate(s) in Japan. Anyway, this is shocking news. The girl's parents must be going through hell. I hope they catch the killer(s) soon.

-4 ( +2 / -6 )

Things have just taken a decided turn for the worse. I hope they find this young fella alive, the sooner the better. I also hope they $#%& crucify the cockroaches that did for the poor girl.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

I believe Japan is the safest country to raise kids! but whats happening? Parenths didnt look after their kids and not paying attention coz they think their safe! They are all busy working! They didnt think theres a lot of crazy people out there

2 ( +4 / -2 )

So it seems she was also tortured? The two cars in the car park leaving at almost the same time suggest a conspiracy. Let's hope that this is solved quickly!!!

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Mandalorian:

" I could be wrong, but I think you'll find that the killer is actually another child. "

At least two of the group that murdered the girl and most likely the boy too were at least old enough to drive a car. That is a bit older than what I call "children". You should start thinking about what the Japanese press calls "youth" instead.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I can not begin to imagine the parents grief. In certain cases " an eye for an eye" appeals more than in others. Certainly the f@£|&**s who did this would deserve the same.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Awesome parenting in this article! Love how they let their underaged kids out at these hours... When will the parents learn that your ment to take care of children....not let them roam the streets at all hours of the night.

If this child wasn't allowed to be out, this would have never happened.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Something seriously wrong with the girl's parents.

-letting her out so late at night

-noticed that she hadn't returned the next morning, but didn't bother reporting until later that day.

I would be investigating these people as well...sickens me that there's so much gross neglect. Poor girl

3 ( +3 / -0 )

WilliB:

The people driving the cars are obviously adults. It was clearly a scheduled meet, and during this time the body was dumped. But why did they need to meet? If one car contained the killer, who was in the other car? It's all a bit fishy. The parents of the boy may have been smuggling him out of there. It's strange that the boy wasn't left at the same time, so it raises the question of where he is. He might not be dead, and he could be involved. This wouldn't be the first case of kids killing each other in Japan. This year there was a case when a kid of a similar age was murdered by his classmate. I obviously don't know the truth. It's very possible that the killer is a adult psychopath. But this is an unusual case. When I mentioned "children", I was referring to the two missing kids and their classmates. 12 and 13 year olds are children. I know that children weren't driving the cars.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

I have a feeling that this is a classic case of bullying. Probably, the classmates that the pair had been having trouble with -as mentioned in the story -may be gang related, and that there were older "kids" involved. Gangs are cowards that travel in packs, hence the two cars -probably full of stupid cowardly kids. No mention of sexual assault reaffirms my guess that this was more to do with an assailant whom they knew (classmates, and perhaps friends or siblings of the classmates), than a random person or people attacking them.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Yaks: "We have a guy who needs to kill someone to move up in the ranks. Bring us someone...or else it's you." Boy: "Yikes! O-o-okay."

end of story.

-5 ( +1 / -6 )

Is there a place in the world where no one teen or younger ever gets killed in some way because their freedom has been totally taken from them? I don't think so.

I had oodles of freedom when I was a kid. It was great. It would have been sad if something bad had happened, but, I ask again, where is there complete safety and security?

Its really sad this poor girl was killed, but, would it really be better to virtually lock our kids up? I think most abduction stories occur in broad daylight as kids are going to and from school, no? Lets not be penny wise and pound foolish okay?

1 ( +1 / -0 )

The last line of the article seems to give us a hint. "Local media also reported Tuesday that the pair had been having some trouble with some classmates. "

These two had been close for some time, and both sets of parents knew each other.

Perhaps the girl rejected some squit's unwanted advances and the boy had stood by her.

I am guessing as someone suggested above, that these "classmates" had a group of older mostly high school acquaintances including at least one leader with a driving license. Not the first time, and it surely won't be the last.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

**

*Many people, including my Japanese co-workers, say that Japan isn't a good place to raise children.

Ridiculous statement.***

if its such a great place then why is the birthrate one of the lowest in the developed world!

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Germany, Italy have low birthrates too. It's a complicated matter. Anyway, this story is terrible.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

"The boy, Ryoto Hoshino, told his mother he was going to hang out with Hirata at about 9 p.m." A round of applause for the parent of the year... Why would you let your 12-year-old go out that late?

3 ( +3 / -0 )

I live in the area where this murder took place. It is frightening. My feeling is there is a murderer out there. If you have a daughter it is scary. Come on Japan Police do something!!!!!!!

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Same thoughts as the other posters. Why would a parent allow her child to be out that late? From the story there is no mention of the father. Possibly this could be a single-parent household but still, a 12-year-old out at 9 PM? Come on.

With the video footage they saw it looks like there are at least a few involved in this heinous act. I hope they catch these scums and deal with them thoroughly. I fear the worst for the boy. He might also be a victim of these same animals. Come on, Osaka's finest! Step up and catch these criminals before we hear of another tragedy. Everyone's counting on you.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

That's sad....still in our "advance" society we are seen this kind of atrocious human acts.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

The article doesn't mention the conversation the girl had with friends via Line. The girl ask one friend if she could stay at the friend's house that night, but was turned down because the friend had to do something with his/her family early the next morning. So the girl said she was going to go hang out in nearby Kyoto(!!) . The girl also indicated she was not planning to return home(i.e. she was running away from home). There's a lot more to this story, folks!

3 ( +4 / -1 )

I wouldn't let my girlfriend go out after 9pm let alone my children

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I wouldn't let my girlfriend go out after 9pm let alone my children

I wouldn't presume to think I have the right to let or not let my girlfriend do anything.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

I wouldn't presume to think I have the right to let or not let my girlfriend do anything.

You're married, though. Unless you have a girlfriend on the side, that is.

@Michael Good points. I saw this on the news when they interviewed her friend and showed her LINE messages. There's definitely more to the story. The authorities are most likely withholding info while they're continuing their investigation, understandably.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

You're married, though

And? Doesn't change my point at all.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Michael -

But the LINE message that said she was going to Kyoto and not planning on returning home, was written in standard Japanese while every other message she had sent her friends were written in dialect which brings up the possibility that perhaps someone else typed that message?

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Some scary stuff RIP little one :(

0 ( +0 / -0 )

has anybody thought that this might be an act of revenge? why no mention of the parents? this might as well be someone getting back at them. this might be the reason why the boy hasn't been found yet, since there was no use for him. but the way the body was disposed seems as if someone wanted her to be found rest in peace

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Good point, fishy. Kids never send text messages in standard any language in my experience.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

fishy:

" But the LINE message that said she was going to Kyoto and not planning on returning home, was written in standard Japanese while every other message she had sent her friends were written in dialect which brings up the possibility that perhaps someone else typed that message? "

Absolutely! Remember, the Uemura murderer also typed a message to facebook on the boy´s phone, after he had killed him. This is very similar.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

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