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crime

Man arrested over murder of 13-year-old girl; missing boy's body found

56 Comments

Police in Takatsuki, Osaka Prefecture, on Friday night arrested a 45-year-old man on a charge of abandoning a body in the case of a 13-year-old girl who was murdered on Aug 13.

He was identified as Koji Yamada, a resident of Neyagawa City, police said.

In another development, the body of the murdered girl's classmate, Ryoto Hoshino, 12, has been found about 50 meters from a road in the mountains of Kashiwara City, about 20 kilometers from where he lived, Fuji TV reported.

The case broke earlier Friday after police requested an arrest warrant after searching the suspect's black minivan which was found parked near where the mutilated body of Natsumi Hirata was abandoned, Fuji TV reported.

The man surfaced as a suspect after police analyzed street surveillance camera footage along the national route between Keihan Neyagawashi Station, where Hirata and Hoshino were last seen, and the parking lot of a distribution center where Hirata's body was left.

Each vehicle caught on camera was checked one by one and the black minivan appeared to resemble the one that was seen going in and out of the parking lot an hour before Hirata's body was found.

Police believe Hirata and Hoshino, who had texted friends that they were planning to go to Kyoto, were taken away from the near the station in a car.

See earlier story here.

© Japan Today

©2020 GPlusMedia Inc.

56 Comments
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Good!!! Bang him up. Also get out the thumb screws and ask him about the boy.

3 ( +7 / -4 )

On the earlier story I posted that NHK reported the man was in custody but that appears to be in error. This was breaking news just as the news program began and there was quite a bit of flurry and changing wording. It now seems they have the arrest warrant but do not yet have him in custody.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

For the life of me,where are these parents hanging their heads in shame without an explanation? Allowing such young kids to roam the streets at night was inexcusable,unforgivable and downright negligent to the zenith as a so-called parent.

-2 ( +9 / -11 )

I would say my heart goes out to the parents, but I am not sure if some of the parents really cared all that much for the kids. If the mother took 3 days to report her child missing, then she is not much of a mother.

The person who committed this crime is a sick, depr aved individual, I hope he is caught and put on the fast track to execution.

But the parents were criminally negligent here. If the mother has other kids I hope they are taken away and put somewhere where they are loved.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

damned outrageous desu !!!

-5 ( +2 / -7 )

Glad that they ave found a suspect...lets reel him in!

0 ( +2 / -2 )

For the life of me,where are these parents hanging their heads in shame without an explanation? Allowing such young kids to roam the streets at night was inexcusable,unforgivable and downright negligent to the zenith as a so-called parent.

The girl was not killed at night, so what does that have to do with it?

-9 ( +7 / -16 )

And now the sad breaking news at 9 is that a body, probably of the missing boy, has been found.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

Breaking news, they just found a body of a young boy on an area not far from where the girls body was found. They suspect this is the the girls companion.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

StrangerlandAug. 21, 2015 - 08:35PM JST The girl was not killed at night, so what does that have to do with it?

yeah right it was dawn :)

2 ( +5 / -3 )

Seriously.....People have the nerve to sit there and blame the kids parents because their Mom or Dad let them go meet a friend at night? Who gives a damn?! a 13 year old girl was murdered! Your seriously going to sit there, hear about a little girl getting murdered and go "Ehhh well...her parents should've told her to brush her teeth and go to bed"

It's like basically....No...it's exactly like looking a rape victim in the face and going "Ehhh well...if you didn't wanna get raped....You shouldn't of been wearing a skirt"....bet you'd be singing a completely different tune if it was your kid.

9 ( +22 / -14 )

yeah right it was dawn :)

It was between 3pm and 7pm.

So sorry to hear the boy has been found dead. RIP to the little ones.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

Um. I knew this would happen. RIP to both of them.

-5 ( +2 / -7 )

@Matthew C. Belec "to sit there and blame the kids patents"

For many westerners it is something like PC game".

-6 ( +3 / -9 )

OMG! another sad news! the only hoping was the boy to speak out, but then again another murdered case ... RIP Hirata san and Koji san.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

I wonder what they found in the vehicle that was incriminating. I hope this guy gets a fare trial or more evidence comes out. Just having a similar looking car doesn't seem enough but as always Jt articles are lacking in detail.

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

Motives? Details? Anything that is remotely interesting to tell about the arrest? Whenever a brutal murderer like this is arrested in Japan the general atmosphere of news coverage is as if the local sports team had lost a game but nothing more.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Matthew C. Belec - Seriously.....People have the nerve to sit there and blame the kids parents because their Mom or Dad let them go meet a friend at night?

You're kidding, right? The girl's mother hadn't seen her in THREE DAYS!! She only reported her missing on the Friday afternoon at 5.30. At that point, her daughter had been dead for 24 hours!!!

Yes, absolutely the parents must take a large chunk of the responsibility. Crazies can't murder children who are safe at home in the bosom of the family, can they...?

9 ( +14 / -5 )

This is the best news today. Parents should not let children play out during late nights. Some wackos are always around there.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Police believe Hirata and Hoshino, who had texted friends that they were planning to go to Kyoto, were taken away from the near the station in a car.

According to the news, the message said she was going to Kyoto and never going back Neyagawa City. The way it was typed though was quite formally and not in Kansai ben like she had been using.

If this was broad daylight, it seems like it would have been hard for a guy to haul in 2 jr high kids at the same time without anyone noticing. He may have offered a ride and they got in.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Ideally kids shouldn't be out alone at night, but it's not always possible to avoid. People sitting there blaming the parents for this really piss me off. The mother might not have been the best guardian possible but a murder is ALL ON THE SICKO WHO ACTUALLY COMMITTED THE CRIME. Yes there are wackos out there, but they are out there during the day as well and they commit these crimes during the day also.

4 ( +8 / -4 )

Rest in Peace to these two poor and innocent kids. What an awful end to their young lives. It appears CCTV has done its work in identifying the vehicle of the horrible child-killer, so we should be thankful for that. Years ago, the child-killer would likely never have been found. There is little doubt that - if found guilty - he will be sentenced to death by hanging.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Good work, Osaka's finest! I just know they'd work nonstop until they catch this guy. If it's proven he's guilty, then no half-baked sentences; prosecute him to the full extent of the law for the murders of those two children.

R.I.P. little ones.

8 ( +9 / -1 )

Yes, absolutely the parents must take a large chunk of the responsibility. Crazies can't murder children who are safe at home in the bosom of the family, can they...?

You didn't read about the 1yr old girl who was found with head injuries by her 13 yr old sister? Uncle has strangely disappeared... it was on this site just today. You should have a read.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Hope he gets the gallows.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

What a wicked, wicked crime. I am speechless.

People sitting there blaming the parents for this really piss me off.

Be that as it may, I've just been reading the news reports on Yahoo Japan. Lots of comments, and right now about 80% of them are along the lines of "what were the idiot parents thinking?" and 親も悪い, etc.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

News showed the suspect wearing a Michael Jackson hat, hanging his head in shame as he was being driven away. According to Yamada, somebody else did the deed and he was merely disposing of the body or bodies. The police are calling bull to his claim. Hope he swings if he really is guilty.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

The police in Osaka Prefecture should be commended for their good work in locating the suspect and show appreciation and gratitude for these fine men and women who have committed themselves in protecting our communities.

11 ( +11 / -0 )

I am glad that tthat the cops found the perp, and I am glad that he is not a "youth", so he will actually get his punishment. And I am really sick and tired of reading comments where people bash the parents. Yes, the parents let their kids roam free range, but in no way matter or shape does that excuse murder! This is really so totally misguided. It really does sound like blaming the rape victim for wearing a short skirt. Totally tasteless, imho.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Scanned story and comments. Just curious, what does (did) this guy do for a job? Anyone know? Not mentioned here but maybe indicated in J. media.

Gotcha Novenachama, when they are on something they are on something and no stone is left unturned!

Yes, the parents let their kids roam free range, but in no way matter or shape does that excuse murder!

Exactly and "free range" kidnappings are rare anyway. Not sure in Japan. But back west most kidnappings are family related- but at least in those cases they don't want to kill the kids.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Geoff Gillespie

You're kidding, right? The girl's mother hadn't seen her in THREE DAYS!! She only reported her missing on the Friday afternoon at 5.30. At that point, her daughter had been dead for 24 hours!!!

Yes, absolutely the parents must take a large chunk of the responsibility. Crazies can't murder children who are safe at home in the bosom of the family, can they...?

Are you kidding me....? The little girl, Natsumi, left the house while her mother was at work. She took a tent with her, It was the boy, Hoshino, who told his mom he was going to meet Natsumi. They said both kids were having problems with classmates, they both texted friends asking if they could stay at their place for the night, and Natsumi texted a friend saying that she and Hoshino were running away to Kyoto and weren't planning on coming back..you don't decide something like this on whim....no matter how old you are.

Besides your missing the whole point, two kids are DEAD. They don't get a future, they get nothing now. whether or not the parents may or may not be at some kind of fault for this....isn't the issue....those two kids were kidnapped and murdered....for absolutely no reason at all....

So instead of blaming their parents and telling them they need to take responsibility for they're child senseless murder......maybe focus on the fact no matter what the circumstances or what the parents could've or should've been done....two kids ended up dead.

3 ( +7 / -4 )

These poor kids were neglected by their parents and were probably being bullied. Then had the misfortune to cross paths with this evil p.o.s. What a gut wrenching, horrific story. RIP Ryoto and Natsumi

7 ( +8 / -1 )

I'm glad they found the creep. RIP, Natsumi and Ryoto. It's a big shame this all happened and two kids lost their lives, in the end.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

The police have this man on the video tape buying duct tape at the same conveniece store the boy and girl were at. He's toast two childern premeditated murder.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

@Matthew C. Belec

You're the one who's missing the point. Kids don't just run away for the sake of running away. The staying out all night, begging friends to let them stay with them, sleeping in a tent, were ALL signs of BAD parenting and extreme neglect. This isn't the first time that they did this, so it was just a matter of time that they get hurt or killed. If the parents had enforced common sense rules, that they are to be home at a certain hour (like most parents do), its highly unlikely that these two would be dead. You know what I would I have done if my young teenage son told me that he was going out at 9PM? I would have said "the hell you are", and done everything in my power to keep him at home. No one is saying that they should have been in bed; the just needed to be at home or somewhere other than the streets, where the parents knew where they could be found. This is COMMON SENSE parenting, nothing new or extreme, and it is meant to protect kids from something like THIS from happening.

Even if the parents didn't give a rat's behind about what their kids did (and I get it -some parents don't), at MINIMUM -at the very minimum, it is their job and their duty as PARENTS that they provide a safe environment for them to live. Since they FAILED to do that, they are DEAD....that's why the parents a responsible for their deaths.

There are reasons why children are given curfews, and one of the main reason is because its unsafe for under-aged kids to be outside literally roaming the streets all night. People prey on children, and as parent if you don't know that or realize the consequences of the ignoring that fact, THIS happens. Maybe the parents shouldn't go to jail for this, but they SURELY can't go through life thinking that they had nothing to do with the death of their child, because they are more than responsible, they are negligent.

5 ( +9 / -4 )

fell sorry to those Children having a Irresponsible parents

0 ( +2 / -2 )

I heard that the suspect kidnapped a child 13 years ago, but let them go... therefore he was able to do it again, this time with terrible results. So very, very sad.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I am offen amaze at the amount of children dress in school uniform still getting about the city late in the evenings. My girlfriend tells me that they are returning home from night school.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

The most well thought comment Mirai Hayashi. I am not sure if you are parent, but that your comment is as wise as common sense should be clear to every body. 12, 13 yo are CHILDREN, and the full responsibility to care for them and protect them is on parents. CHILDREN are not born bad, society turns them into contributors or burden to society: ADULTS rule society. Yes, we ADULTS set the rules, the curfews and the care, regardless of our subjective opinions, we ADULTS are the ones to blame, or praise of course, for what society is. It is ingrained as an inborn instinct in the human mind to help one another --more so when is about your children. However, this basic instinct is sometimes, regretfully, forgotten by ADULTS. These CHILDREN are no more, but the facts are: ADULTS did not look after them, ADULTS did not report them missing, ADULTS at the convenient store failed to report to authorities that CHILDREN were roaming in the middle of the night, and, not the last thing, a confessed psycho bastard ADULT killed them. While the parents of these to children, if they have conscience, will suffer the rest of their life for the nonsensical lost of their kids, they deserve decisive punishment and should be FORCE to pay to society for the hideous fault: the parents most bring up their other children as positive and valuable contributors to society. If they accomplish that their debt to the human race will be partially settle.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

The guy has a record for abduction of a young boy. He recently started working in Fukushima as part of a nuclear clean-up crew, and a co-worker said he mentioned his preference for young kids. In some interviews, it was mentioned the kids had planned to run away, but no one's really substantiated that. It does look as though the police got their man, though. Good work.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

This kind of ununderstandable crimes are happening often in recent Japan. It may be as a result of misunderstood American individualism introduced to Japan after the war. In old Japan, people had a strong feeling that they belonged to a society or a group and they were very much conscious of the public eyes. If they did some bad things, their families apologized saying "Seken ni kao muke dekinai." (I cannot show myself in public). But today, people are living all by himself or by herself and there is no family and society in their minds. Apprehensions of people are coming true that introduction of excessive freedom and individualism to Japan where there is no religious backbones to enforce morality of people is degenerating the country and its people.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

It seems this fellow himself mailed here and there, using the girl’s phone, with that story of running away to Kyoto. At least that was suggested in the news this morning, since the girl’s friends found her messages odd, mentioning that she wouldn’t use Osaka dialect. These two kids having been out together might just have been a case of puppy love with a terrible outcome.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Outstanding police work by the Osaka Police Department. To identify the car from grainy security camera footage, locate it among hundreds of other moving vehicles on a highway, then track the suspect for days and back to the crime scene all while keeping it out of the media is something rarely seen outside of movies or FBI level surveillance. I know many jurisdictions in the US where this crime would simply go unsolved. My heart goes out to the two kids and their family, but at least they caught this monster.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Mirai Hayashi:

" There are reasons why children are given curfews, and one of the main reason is because its unsafe for under-aged kids to be outside literally roaming the streets all night. "

This has been pointed out several times now, but the kids were not abducted at night. The abduction happened in the morning, and the murder (at least of the girl) in the afternoon.

What you are suggesting is helicopter-parenting your children 24/24 And that is simply wrong. Stop bashing the parents already. To glibly assume that children get murdered as a matter of course, if you give them some freedom is sad, honestly.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

The abduction happened in the morning

The last text (supposedly from the girl) was sent at 6:35 in the morning. It wouldn't have been difficult for the perpetrator to establish that the kids had been out all night, and that nobody cared where they were.

I'm sorry, but caring parents don't let their kids stay out all night. they just don't.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

How very, very sad to read this result. It seems the killing of young people either by their peers or adults is becoming more and more common in Japan, making it no different from most of the rest of the world. I find this very upsetting. Condolences to their families and friends.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Tessa:

" The last text (supposedly from the girl) was sent at 6:35 in the morning. It wouldn't have been difficult for the perpetrator to establish that the kids had been out all night, and that nobody cared where they were. "

Firstly, the message at 6:35 was almost certainly sent by the murderer, so by that time he control of the kids. Secondly, once he has taken them, he does not need to "establish" anything one way or the other.... do you seriously think by that time he lets them go again? So that they tell the police? It is completely irrelevant for the murderer if the kids spent the night inside their house or outside.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

It is completely irrelevant for the murderer if the kids spent the night inside their house or outside.

WilliB, without wishing to to turn this into a negligent-parents-hate-thread: would you seriously consider leaving your children home alone all night long? And if not, they why on earth would you let them roam around outside all night long?

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Tessa,

actually, at 12 and 13, sure I would leave them home alone all night. Roaming outside, no. But still that is no reason to blame the parents for the murder. It really reminds me too much of these misguided arguments justifying rape: "she should no be outside alone at night wearing a short skirt" and all that.

To which I say: NO! There is no excuse for rape, and there is no excuse for murdering children.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

@WillB

Still not getting it. Are you saying that you would be happy for your pubescent daughter to walk around alone at night (dressed however she pleases, not necessarily in a mini-skirt), and then claim that you are not a negligent parent if something bad happens to her? I find that very hard to believe.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

If a 12 year old and 13 year old are walking around a train station at 5 in the morning, I do not expect them to get murdered. Walking around a train station a 5 in the morning should NOT be a death sentence.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Walking around a train station a 5 in the morning should NOT be a death sentence.

On this point, I agree with you. Nobody expects their children to get killed by merely going outside. I live in an incredibly safe, quiet neighborhood. However, if I leave my apartment for even 5 minutes, I still lock the door.

Those children would be alive today if their parents had been more responsible.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Tessa:

They would also be alive if Yamada had not murdered them. But go ahead, keep blaming the victims. They should not outside at 5 in the morning, we just have to accept that that is a death penalty. But never mind, many other posters seem to take this attitude.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

I'm with Willib on this one. It's not the parents fault, it's the murderer's fault. The parents could have done more to prevent it, but that doesn't place blame on them. They are the victims.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Maybe the first time on this board I agree with Strangerland.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Really, people?

Realistically speaking, which is easier?

A. Identify and eliminate all the sick perverts in the world (who knows how that could be achieved).

B. Protect children from being targeted by sick perverts (by actually monitoring them, and setting guidelines for their behaviour).

These children were sitting ducks, and I am amazed that you think that in this day and age, it's okay to raise kids without actually watching over them. I'm a teacher, and parents like you are a major headache.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

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