Police appeal for help from public over 2008 murder of 15-year-old girl


Police in Toyota City on Saturday appealed to the public for any information that might help apprehend the person or persons who killed a 15-year-old girl in 2008.

In previous years, police handed out leaflets at Toyota and Chiryu stations, as well as six other nearby locations, but did not do so last year or again this year due to the coronavirus. Instead, notices have been put up at those stations.

A few local residents placed flowers at the site where the body of Manami Shimizu was found and observed a moment of silence.

Shimizu was found dead at 5:30 a.m. on Saturday May 3, 2008, in a rice field in Toyota City, about one kilometer from her home in Ikoma. She was lying on her back, with a small hand towel stuffed into her mouth and a cord around her neck, next to her bicycle. Her school bag was later found on a riverbank some 15 km away.

A family acquaintance found the body after her family, friends and police began searching for Shimizu when she did not return home after going to her high school, attached to Aichi University of Education, the day before.

She attended a practice session of the high school's soccer team that ended at 6:30 p.m. Friday May 2, and left school by bicycle at around 6:45 p.m. That was the last time she was seen alive.

Police said that in the past 11 years, police have followed up on about 1,400 leads in the case, but with no luck so far.

There is a 3 million yen reward offered for the arrest of the killer or killers. Anyone with any information is asked to call Toyota police at 0120-400538.

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2008...that makes it much more difficult. An immediate response of massive DNA testing and checking all video footage could have helped then, but now even those necessary measures are also very late, as people have moved away, have changed their face and thrown away clothes etc. for all those 13 years. But it’s of course still possible to make this cold case a hot case again now and get back a chance to find new evidence and the killer(s). Using the 2008 inhabitants data and proceed with an obligatory DNA test would be a good thing to consider doing first. A good move would also be to extend the search in cases like this to a national campaign, putting pressure on the killer also in other prefectures for example, so that he sees his case or phantom pictures at koban windows or in train stations even far away and after many years, so he might give up or make any errors again. Some local leaflets and interviews are probably not so effective and have already been done earlier.

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Someone knows and that person should talk. Most cases like these are solved when a key witness comes forward or the murderer, of course

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Bit late, isn't it?

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@BertieWooster, No, it's never too late to find the killer of this beautiful child.

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It is too late to have any hope, but it is good to see they do not completely give up on cold cases.

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