Police said Friday they are looking for the male co-worker of a 20-year-old woman whose body was found in a river in Kita-Ibaraki City on April 3. Police have identified the victim as Kanami Kikuchi.
Kikuchi's jeans and jacket were found nearby. Her car was parked outside a nearby convenience store. Her wallet was found in the car, but her cell phone was neither in her car nor on her body. A road runs several meters along the river in which Kikuchi's body was found and police believe that carrying her down the steep concrete banks into the river would have been extremely difficult for one person. Police suspect that she was strangled to death and her body dropped from a bridge into the river.
Police said that Kikuchi's neighbors told them that she had been dating a co-worker. According to police, Kikuchi's employer contacted them immediately following the discovery of her body to report that the man in question had gone on an unauthorized leave of absence from work and that they have been unable to contact him since his disappearance.
Police believe the man may have some information about the events leading up to Kikuchi's murder.© Compiled from news reports