Police in Sapporo have arrested a 43-year-old former occupational therapist on suspicion of killing a 23-year-old woman in November 2016.
According to police, the suspect, Akihiro Kumakura, worked at the same hospital as the victim, Ayumi Kimura. Police said he has refused to comment on the charge, Sankei Shimbun reported. However, local media quoted police as saying that DNA evidence linked Kumakura to the murder.
On Nov 6, 2016, Kimura was found dead, submerged in the bathtub of her apartment in Nishi Ward, by two colleagues — one of whom was Kumakura — after she failed to turn up for work. An autopsy showed Kimura had been strangled to death about two days earlier.
Police said Kumakura and Kimura were seen together in a restaurant two days before her body was found. That was the last time she was seen alive.
Local media quoted a neighbor as saying he heard what sounded like a couple yelling in Kimura's apartment at around 1 a.m. or 2 a.m. on the night the murder is believed to have been committed.
After Kimura's murder, Kumakura quit his job at the hospital.© Japan Today