Tochigi prefectural police said Tuesday that they have charged a 32-year-old man with the murder of a 7-year-old girl in December 2005.
The suspect, identified as Takuya Katsumata, was arrested in January for dealing in fake brand-name goods. Police said that in April, he started making statements hinting at his involvement in the murder of Yuki Yoshida, Fuji TV reported.
Police told a news conference on Tuesday afternoon that they found videos and images of young girls, including Yoshida, on his computer.
Yoshida went missing while on her way home from school in Imaichi (which became part of Nikko in 2006) on Dec 1, 2005. Her naked body was found the next day in a forest about 65 kilometers away. She had been stabbed about 10 times.
Police said they followed up on more than 3,673 leads in the case and a reward of 5 million yen was offered. Police said that Katsumata, who lived two kilometers away from Yoshida's home, was considered a suspect early on in the investigation because his car had been seen on the road where Yoshida was last seen. But police were not able to establish a case against him.
Fuji TV quoted police as saying that Katsumata has admitted to killing the girl and told them that he only met her for the first time on the day he killed her. He told police he threw her clothes and satchel away.
Police said Katsumata has so far given no motive but said he wished to "apologize to Yuki."
Katsumata, who was unemployed when he was arrested, used to sell antiques at flea markets, Fuji TV reported.© Japan Today