crime

France tries Chilean accused of murdering Japanese ex-girlfriend

33 Comments
By Angela SCHNAEBELE and Marie JULIEN

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33 Comments
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At least he will get a fair trail in France, something he would not get in Japan.

-12 ( +26 / -38 )

This is a hard one with NO body of the victim and NO DNA tracing him to the apartment, what ever happened I hope the court will be able to solve this case.

""But several witnesses reported hearing "screams of terror" and thuds "as if someone was striking" -- although none called the police at the time.""

These so called witnesses are very suspicious!!! and leads me to think that this is just a lie.

-20 ( +7 / -27 )

Japanese girls should be extra careful. There are a lot of crazies out there.

10 ( +24 / -14 )

No idea if the guy is guilty or not. But some Japanese girls, in a verbal argument, will scream bloody murder at the top of their lungs for no reason. It could very well be that she had a heated exchange with the guy and then hooked up with another guy afterwards and was killed. I don’t see how this guy can be convicted. No evidence, just conjecture.

-23 ( +12 / -35 )

His videos on YouTube, tho, of him saying stuff about her and why she's so wrong about her wanting to brake up before the crime happened, were pretty creepy to say the least.

I'm glad Chile extradited him.

27 ( +33 / -6 )

Many evidences will be presented and let see hola zepedas will explain that...

15 ( +17 / -2 )

The father should not be bias and instead have his son serve his sentence like a man. But in the end he would probably be let free when there is no dead body. While the victim family would witness all of it and never get closure.

-7 ( +6 / -13 )

Guilty or Not? We do not know. Let's just watch the show to see what the Judge thinks.

5 ( +10 / -5 )

"a biased accusation with no scientific proof... based on suspicions and conjecture".

When there is no confession by the suspect and no body, circumstantial evidence is used to get a conviction.

16 ( +17 / -1 )

Isn't France a "guilty until proven innocent" country?

-6 ( +6 / -12 )

What a nightmare for the parents. I chose for my daughter a college in a very small California town, Monterey, precisely as I was terrified of such a thing.

3 ( +9 / -6 )

At least he will get a fair trail in France, something he would not get in Japan.

he’s been kept in solitary confinement, in a foreign country, away from his family on the other side of the world. How is that different to Japan?

and he claims he’s innocent…

4 ( +8 / -4 )

As long as he remains composed under cross-examination and sticks to his story, he'll walk. They really have nothing on him except the flimsiest of circumstantial evidence.

-9 ( +4 / -13 )

If he'd done it here, he'd hang. As he should do. Time France brought be the guillotine for filth like this.

5 ( +11 / -6 )

a college in a very small California town, Monterey, precisely as I was terrified of such a thing.

Not trying to scare you but the exact same thing could happen anywhere.

14 ( +15 / -1 )

There’s a tree waiting for him!

4 ( +7 / -3 )

The circumstantial evidence is everywhere involving this case, but the poor girl’s body has disappeared. However, the circumstantial evidence all points toward Zepeda.

9 ( +10 / -1 )

Alan HarrisonToday  07:08 am JST

At least he will get a fair trail in France, something he would not get in Japan.

A 21 year old girl gets murdered and this is all you can say?

6 ( +14 / -8 )

If the defendant is shown to have lied on issues of his whereabouts, if there is evidence of buying lighter fluid to dispose of a body, if telephone records place him in locations near the alleged murder, then, yeah, he deserves to be put on trial.

Most murders are committed by people you know....indeed the closer you are to someone the more likely they are to murder you.

Strange but true.

9 ( +10 / -1 )

He quickly became the prime suspect after he was found to have gone out of his way via a forest, and to have bought matches and a container of flammable liquid.

Odd that there were no remains, even if cremated ones. As anyone who has been to a funeral in Japan knows, you need a pretty hot fire to consume the bones; a match and some accelerant wouldn’t cut it. Then there is the time factor. It takes hours to cremate a corpse, all the while the perp would need to be attending to it (with all the associated risks that involves).

The police are likely to work the social media angle because that will be the easiest to demonstrate in court. Once his culpability there has been established, they will likely suggest that his behavior and the victim’s disappearance was not a coincidence.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

The father should not be bias and instead have his son serve his sentence like a man.

There has been no verdict reached yet to justify a sentence. While I fully aware that in Japan an arrest automatically means Guilty, that is not the case France which has an advanced legal system.

-9 ( +4 / -13 )

Japanese girls should be extra careful. There are a lot of crazies out there.

Well, all girls should careful. There are crazies out there, and in here. I'm sure that during the investigation the victims lifestyle has been checked.

-5 ( +3 / -8 )

He will walk free because all the evidence against him which have been released to the media are just circumstantial. France isn’t Japan where the judges just lack the confidence and might I say even certain level of intelligence to go against prosecutors on most occasions!

I still don’t understand how people can invite their ex to their rooms! Whenever I see any of my ex’s I run away like road runner!

-6 ( +1 / -7 )

French investigators believe he killed Kurosaki in a jealous rage.

Zepeda's lawyer Jacqueline Laffont said that her client was "almost relieved to finally be able to explain himself, to be heard, he's coming in determined".

Jacqueline Laffont, once defended former France president Nicolas Sarkozy in a corruption case.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

If he'd done it here, he'd hang. As he should do. Time France brought be the guillotine for filth like this.

France abandoned capital punishment including the Guillotine in September 1981. France currently has no plans to reinstate it.

-5 ( +3 / -8 )

Those who harp on about 'Japanese Justice' with the vaguest of understanding, claiming it is impossible to gain a fair trial are simply ignorant. The conviction rate in Japan and the U.S.A. are very similar. Most individuals who are arrested are guilty, which is not to deny 'innocent until proven guilty'. The police are not randomly arresting folks and accusing them of crimes they did not commit.

In this particular case, so called circumstantial evidence is more than an indication he murdered his ex-girlfriend. Let alone the fact, it typifies a certain criminal behavior. The proof needed to gain extradition has a high standard and is not based on whimsy.

Mr. Zepeda is a murderer who travelled a long distance to kill his ex-girlfriend. Nicolas Zepeda, the son of a wealthy Chilean family has engaged he services of a top law firm in France.

Zepeda, the previous September threatened Kurosaki in a video posted online, which he later removed. Kurosaki had entered a new relationship, a development which “clearly exasperated” Zepeda.

In a the video he sent, he gave her an ultimatum of two weeks to bend to his conditions and demands.

The investigation revealed he stopped off at a supermarket on his way to Besancon to buy matches, flammable liquid and bleach

When Zepeda returned his hire car three days after Kurosaki’s disappearance, it was “very dirty” with soil found on the driver’s side and in the trunk, a prosecutor said.

For several days after her disappearances, messages continued to be sent from Kurosaki’s phone to her friends and family, including messages in Japanese.

A Japanese friend of Zepeda told police Zepeda had asked her to translate sentences into Japanese, which later appeared in one of the messages sent from the missing woman’s phone.

8 ( +8 / -0 )

On November 30, 2016, Nicolas Zepeda arrived on a flight from Chile to Geneva, Switzerland. From here he took a bus to Dijon, France, and rented a car on December 1, 2016. The drive from Dijon to the town where Narumi lives is about one and a half hours by car. Before leaving Dijon, his credit card records showed he went to a shop and bought a canister of fuel, matches, garbage bags, and detergent spray chlorine.

GPS from his rental car also showed he spent hours driving around small roads and forested areas as well as daily trips from the Chaux forest to Besancon from December 1st to the 4th. He would drive to Narumi’s university, the linguistic center where she studied, and her residence building.

On December 2nd, he was spotted in the university by two students who talked to him. It is not clear how he came in contact with Narumi or when but CCTV footage showed the two of them together at the university.

On December 4th, Narumi visited the sports center for a dance class which ended at 4 pm. That evening, Narumi and Nicolas drove to a restaurant south of Besancon and cameras caught them dining there until around 10 pm. They then headed back to the university residence and CCTV footage showed them entering her residence at around 11 pm.

Many students on Narumi’s floor reported hearing a thud and screams around 3 am but no one called the police, noticed anything when they checked in the hall, and couldn’t tell what room it was coming from.

Nicolas’s rental car was parked outside her residence until December 6th around 4 am. The GPS then showed the car driving in the same forested areas that Nicolas was driving days before.

The next day when Narumi didn’t show up for class, her friends were worried and notified teachers. Her boyfriend Arthur also didn’t receive any replies when he tried to message her. Unfortunately, Nicolas, who hacked Narumi’s Facebook and had access to her phone started sending messages to her friends and family.

Her friends received texts saying she was having trouble with her passport and she needed to go to the embassy. Police later found that her bank card was used on December 6th to purchase a one-way ticket to the city of Lyon where there is a consulate. However, the Japanese consulate that Narumi used was in a different city.

Her family and friends in Japan also received messages saying that she found a new boyfriend, she was traveling alone, or she didn’t have access to the internet. By December 14th, ten days after Narumi was last seen, the school reported her missing.

But Nicolas, who returned the car to the rental shop on December 7th had a huge lead. The rental agency where he returned the car reported that the car was covered in mud both on the inside and outside and even in the trunk of the car.

Nicolas leaving the car rental shop bought a bus ticket back to Geneva then boarded a plane to Barcelona, Spain. He stayed in Spain for a few days visiting his cousin before returning to Geneva on December 12th and boarding a plane back to Chile. He was in Chile even before the school reported Narumi missing.

French police entered her room, they found that it was neat and tidy. However, her wallet containing money as well as her only winter coat was still in her room. Through their search of the room, they found that a blanket, suitcase, her passport, and cell phone were missing. Police also found a fingerprint on a coffee cup that matched Nicolas. They also found his DNA on many objects around her room, as well as the sink and bathroom floor.

Originally the police suspected her new boyfriend Arthur and brought him in for questioning. But once Arthur mentioned that her ex-boyfriend had hacked her Facebook, was constantly harassing her, and was jealous of her new relationship, police investigated further. They found evidence that her ex-boyfriend, Nicolas, in fact, was in France, had been spotted with her and was the last person to see her alive.

Although CCTV footage captured them entering her residence, the police deduced that they must have exited from the emergency exit which doesn’t have a surveillance camera. Police also found blood at the alternative exit. Nicolas was now a suspect and the French police tagged him on INTERPOL as wanted for the suspicion of abduction and murder of Narumi.

French police and searchers went through the vast forests of Chaux in January to try and find Narumi’s body but the search was unsuccessful. A second search that included police officers, divers, dogs, and helicopters was done in April 2017 but nothing was found. A final search operation took place in December 2017 a year after Narumi disappeared. The search area was expanded to include areas not searched before but police still came up empty-handed.

Despite not being able to locate Narumi’s body, prosecutors in France believe they have enough to convict him saying, “a wealth of evidence, including phone records, the geolocation of the suspect’s rental car and credit card receipts as well as witness statements contradict Nicolas’s version of events.”

10 ( +10 / -0 )

The release of evidence, and the scientific investigation is outstanding. Congratulations France.

I wish that someday Japanese mediocre j-system improves to reach the French one.

-7 ( +3 / -10 )

Honami, one of Narumi Kurosaki's two sisters, agreed to answer the questions of L'Est Républicain. A 21-year-old student, the age Narumi was when she mysteriously disappeared from the Besançon campus, Honami broke the silence of her family. She lifts, with modesty, the veil on the intimate nightmare experienced by her family. In Honami's eyes, Nicolas Zepeda-Contreras' guilt is no longer matter of doubt. "What he wanted was to have Narumi all to himself," the young Japanese woman says. Interview.

How did you hear at the time that Narumi was missing?

I was informed of my sister's disappearance by the University of Tsukuba (where Narumi was attending school - editor's note), by phone.

What did you first think, in the first few days after this announcement?

I figured we'd find her. I didn't realize it was so serious.

Faced with the void left by Narumi's death, how do you feel today?

It's so difficult that I can't find the words... When she was in Besançon, I was in contact with my sister every day. The last time I really saw her was when she left Japan to travel to France.

How do your parents react to this situation?

I think the only hope left for my parents is to find the truth... My mother became very ill, mentally and physically. She hasn't left her bed for some time.

Why was it so important last June to make the trip to Besançon?

It was so difficult for us that I can't express it, but my parents and I did what we thought was best for Narumi. Meeting our lawyer Sylvie Galley was also very important to us. We wanted things to move forward.

What do you think happened in your sister's room that night?

I can't answer that question....

The police suspect Nicolas Zepeda-Contreras of the worst: do you think he is guilty?

Yes. Of course he's guilty.

You've already met him, what kind of person was he with Narumi?

I spent a lot of time with him and Narumi. He was nice to me, but all he wanted was to have Narumi all to himself. He took for granted the fact that Narumi gave him priority in her life, rather than her family. For example, I couldn't enjoy time with my sister when she came back from Tsukuba and went home.

Has Nicolas Zepeda-Contreras been in contact with you or your family since December 5, 2016?

No.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Don’t worry, even if he doesn’t get convicted of anything, they’ll be someone to administer Justice…if the court doesn’t.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Don’t worry, even if he doesn’t get convicted of anything, they’ll be someone to administer Justice…if the court doesn’t.

Who exactly?

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

No evidence, just conjecture

Gaijinland, if you’re referring to your wild theorizing about her screaming for no reason and then hooking up with some mysterious third party, who then murdered her, I would 100% agree with you. No evidence, just conjecture

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

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