crime

Murdered girl's rucksack found in suspect's apartment

13 Comments

Police in Kobe said Friday they have found a rucksack belonging to Mirei Ikuta, 6, in the apartment of the man being held on suspicion of abandoning her dismembered body.

The suspect, Yasuhiro Kimino, 47, was arrested on Wednesday after six bags containing body parts belonging to Ikuta were found in a wooded area near his apartment in Nagata Ward.

Kimino, a former Ground Self-Defense Force member and who is currently unemployed, has refused to answer questions about Ikuta, police said. Kimino's lawyer, who spoke with him on Thursday night, told reporters Friday that his client is tired and is talking with police but will not say anything about his involvement in the murder, Sankei Shimbun reported.

The girl's rucksack was found after an extensive search of Kimino's apartment on Friday.

Meanwhile, police said more body parts, believed to belong to Ikuta, were also found Friday in the same wooded area and are intensifying their search for the weapon used to cut up the body.

No bloodstains have been found in either Kimino's apartment or the spot where the six bags of body parts were found on the afternoon of Sept 23.

Police are still trying to determine Ikuta's exact movements on the day she disappeared. She left school at around 2:45 p.m. on Sept 11 and visited her grandmother, who lives nearby, and left her school bag there. She was next seen on surveillance camera footage outside a convenience store at 3:15 p.m. Kimino was also seen in the camera footage, drinking what appears to be a can of beer as he walks a short distance behind the girl.

Ikuta is believed to have returned home, picked up her rucksack and then left for a friend's house. Police said surveillance camera footage has also shown Kimino lurking outside the friend's apartment.

After that, little is known about Ikuta's movements. She was last seen at around 5:30 p.m. walking past the athletic grounds of a high school, some 700 meters away from her home.

Media have reported that Kimino may have lured Ikuta to his apartment by using cats. A resident in the same apartment building, who has a number of cats, said Ikuta came to play with the cats on at least three occasions during the summer. The apartment building is about 150 meters from her home.

Police initially visited Kimino on Sept 16 and asked to search his apartment, but found nothing linking him to Ikuta. Asked about the surveillance camera footage, he told police he was drunk and couldn’t remember even seeing Ikuta walking ahead of him.

Just before dawn on Wednesday Sept 24 -- the day after the body parts were found -- a police patrol spotted Kimino in the wooded area and took him in for questioning. He was arrested on a charge of abandoning a body after his hospital registration card and cigarette butts were found in one of the bags with the body parts. DNA on the butts matched that of Kimino.

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13 Comments
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@Disillusioned

What do you mean by "Our only hope...."

Do you believe that everyone on this site shares your view?

3 ( +6 / -3 )

The single most incriminating, and least circumstantial piece of evidence is the video evidence of the suspect near the apartment of the friend of the victim. While the convenience store video might be coincidental, the friend's apartment is well out of the way of where the store and his apartment is. The evidence of him "hanging around" there by himself indicates he is following the young girl.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

I hope he sheds more light on the subject for, well, everyone's sake. This case really needs some closure. And I truly hope the young girl had a painless death (before the other bad things happened to her), although it is highly unlikely.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Besides her bag, the police have found minute traces of the girl's DNA in his apartment.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

It seems like a pretty open and shut case now with this discovery. I would feel a lot more confident in the arrest and subsequent conviction if they found blood evidence or the murder weapon linking him to the crime. He better not see the light of day outside the prison walls again if he is guilty of this crime.

My thoughts are with the family. I hope they can find solace that the right man has been caught.

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

Well, that's it, as Bu x3 says . I'm still wondering why he would just leave his ID in the bag.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

Police initially visited Kimino on Sept 16 and asked to search his apartment, but found nothing linking him to Ikuta.

But did they REALLY search, the average Japanese aparto is not exactly spacious.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Mirai HayashiSep. 27, 2014 - 07:00PM JST The evidence found are all circumstantial...not enough to convict for murder. They'll need to either find the murder weapon, or the girl's DNA somewhere on him, or his DNA somewhere on her to call it an open and shut case

Everyone here knows that I'm normally the most liberal and concerned about abuses of police power, but in this case there is more than enough evidence to secure a conviction.

Video footage places him near the girl before the murder.

The cigarette butts (with his DNA on them) and ID card in the bags place him at the scene when the girl was being dismembered and put into the bags.

The backpack places her in her apartment in the interim.

It doesn't exclude the possibility that there was an accomplice, but it puts him with or near the girl before, during and after the murder.

... unless this is another case of the prosecutors and police manufacturing evidence (as they have done in the past), but I find that highly unlikely, there's simply so much evidence here, and some of it (like the video) would be hard to fake without involving experts and the convenience store employees and simply way too many people.

I think that in the opinion of any reasonable and objective observer there is sufficient evidence here for a conviction. They do not have to produce the blood-stained knife, nor where the murder took place, they have him before, during and after the murder with the girl.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Everyone here knows that I'm normally the most liberal and concerned about abuses of police power, but in this case there is more than enough evidence to secure a conviction.

Video footage places him near the girl before the murder.

The cigarette butts (with his DNA on them) and ID card in the bags place him at the scene when the girl was being dismembered and put into the bags.

The backpack places her in her apartment in the interim.

I explained this earlier but the over zealous JT mod deleted my comment :-(

I say that its all circumstantial because none of the evidence collected is a proverbial smoking gun. Video shows the guy walking behind the girl. Although this seems like damning evidence, although creepy, its not illegal to follow a child.

The backpack in his apartment.. yes it looks like a smoking gun, it isn't. He could have found the backpack and took it home, or the girl could have even been in his apartment at some point, but it doesn't mean that he murdered her.

Cigarette butts with his DNA, again not concrete evidence.

all of this evidence together though, does draw a picture and incriminates him even more, however, the nail in the coffin is going to be the murder weapon, or as I said earlier, something with her DNA on it that puts him at the scence of the crime...Until then, its all nothing but pieces of a puzzle and not the whole picture

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

Well... It's all there .. The evidence!! The verdict ? Guilty! Death by means of any ways!

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Seems like they have enough evidence to move forward with a formal charge based on the id card and dna on cigarette butts found in bags with the girl's body parts. I hope they dont waste the taxpayers money on a lengthy trial or incarceration and get on with his execution.

-2 ( +3 / -5 )

There's no way he will hang! He will be deemed mentally incompetent, get and 8-10 year stint in prison and be back on the streets in a decade. Our only hope is prison justice. I know kiddy fiddlers and child murderers are given very 'special' treatment in prisons by the other inmates where I come from. Let's hope it's the same for this animal.

-3 ( +4 / -7 )

The evidence found are all circumstantial...not enough to convict for murder. They'll need to either find the murder weapon, or the girl's DNA somewhere on him, or his DNA somewhere on her to call it an open and shut case

-5 ( +0 / -5 )

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