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.© Japan Today