Police investigating the murder of a 13-year-old boy said Tuesday that the victim had sent a message to a girl on the instant messaging app Line in January, saying he might be killed soon by some guys he knew.
More details have begun to emerge about the murder of Ryota Uemura, whose naked body was found last Friday morning on the bank of the Tama River in Kawasaki, Kanagawa Prefecture. He had been stabbed several times in the neck, face and arms.
A classmate of Uemura saw him in a park in January, with a black eye and other bruises on his face. Uemura told his friend that he had become involved with a group of older students from another school last November, and that they had asked him to shoplift something. When he refused, they had beaten him up.
Street surveillance camera footage showed Uemura pushing a bike and walking with three other boys about the same age as the victim toward the riverbank early in the morning of Feb 20. Later on, the footage shows only three boys returning. An autopsy revealed that Uemura was killed at around 2 a.m. and his body was found at 6 a.m.
Police found a box cutter not too far from the body, which they believe was one of the weapons. The victim's clothes and shoes had been burned in a nearby public toilet.
His mother told police that she had seen Ryota the previous night (Feb 19) and asked him if he wanted anything to eat, TBS reported. However, he said he didn't and went out. That was the last his mother saw of him.
Police have also learned that Uemura seldom went to school after the New Year holidays in January. A female teacher visited the boy's home five times but no one was home. She also called the home more than 30 times and was only able to speak to Uemura once -- on Feb 16. She told him there was an exam coming up and he had to attend. Uemura said he would but never showed up at school again.© Japan Today