Two 17-year-old boys who were arrested along with an 18-year-old boy Friday on suspicion of killing a 13-year-old boy in Kawasaki, Kanagawa Prefecture on Feb 20, said Saturday that they did not take part in the killing.
Police said the two boys admitted being at the murder scene on a bank of the Tama River, but insisted it was the 18-year-old who stabbed Ryota Uemura in the neck several times, NTV reported.
The three, who were sent to prosecutors on Saturday morning, were part of a gang of young people aged 12 to 20, of which the 18-year-old was the reported leader.
Police searched the residences of the three on Saturday. The 18-year-old has repeatedly said he doesn't want to talk about the murder, police said.
Meanwhile, police revealed that records on the messaging app Line showed that a member of the gang contacted Uemura on the night of Feb 19, telling him to come out and meet them, NTV reported.
The three suspects were identified through street surveillance camera footage that showed them and another boy walking with Uemura toward the spot where he was murdered. Footage showed them walking back without Uemura.
An autopsy revealed that Uemura was killed at around 2 a.m. on Feb 20. He had been stabbed several times in the neck, face and arms. Police found a blood-stained box cutter not too far from the body, which was one of the weapons. The victim’s clothes and shoes had been burned in a nearby public toilet.© Japan Today