More details have come to light over a murder case in Hiroshima Prefecture involving at least two high school girls – one of whom was the victim – and the communication smartphone app Line.
The body of the 16-year-old high school girl was found in the mountains outside of Kure City on July 13, after an ex-classmate was taken by her family to the police to turn herself in.
Though the deceased had posted pictures of herself and her alleged murderer, depicting them as close friends, on her blog earlier this year, it seems that there had been friction between the pair for some time.
In an interview with another classmate who knew the arrested girl well, the alleged murderer had often said she’d been betrayed and that the deceased owed her 30,000 yen. In the interview, it was also revealed that the girl had said repeatedly in the past that she wanted to kill her ex-classmate.
The suspect had dropped out of school and was unemployed.
Though she is reported to have confessed to the murder, many details remain unclear. Line, the popular free messaging smartphone app, is playing a large role in the case as it seems that the suspect sent a message to some friends shortly before her arrest, saying that she initially wanted to run, but after talking with two people (whose names have been censored) decided to confess everything. She apologized in advance in case she were to end up betraying her friends during questioning.
Police suspect that a third person is involved due partly to the content of the Line messages and partly to some conflicting details in the girl’s confession.
During her initial questioning, the suspect stated that she and the deceased took a taxi to the mountains, but later claimed that they had driven from Hiroshima City’s shopping district in someone else’s car. As both of the girls were only 16, neither of them would have legally been able to drive, thus begging the question of who drove. So far, the suspect has refused to answer that question.
In addition to the issue of the driver, a mysterious Line message the girl sent before her arrest seems to reinforce the idea that there was a third party involved. Sent to a recipient named simply “Friend,” the message read, “I’m going to get arrested now.”
Though details of the case are not yet completely clear, it seems that after a heated argument in the wilderness, the girl attacked her classmate, punching her and choking her to death. She then moved the body a few hundred meters into the mountains.
Sources: NHK, Sankei News, Zakzak, Asahi Shinbun Digital, Yahoo! News Japan
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