The remains of missing Kanazawa housewife Haruna Fukuda, 27, were discovered buried in the sand at a beach in Onebu, Ishikawa Prefecture, on Thursday. Around 50 police officers had been searching beaches for her belongings since Feb 17.
Fukuda had been missing since she left home in her car on Feb 6 after telling her parents that she was going to collect some money that was owed to her by a male acquaintance. After she failed to return home, she was reported missing. On Feb 21, it was reported that Ishikawa prefectural police had confiscated the car of a 35-year-old freelance cameraman, who was commissioned to work for public broadcaster NHK, on suspicion that he had been involved in the woman's disappearance.
Investigators examined the vehicle and found bloodstains on the passenger seat. A DNA test later confirmed that the blood was that of Fukuda.
Investigators have been questioning the man in hospital since he recovered from self-inflicted injuries sustained in a botched suicide attempt made on Feb 18. Police believe that Fukuda had been involved in a dispute with the man over several million yen she had entrusted to him as an investment. The man has so far denied having anything to do with Fukuda's death.
According to police, Fukuda's body was dressed in the same blue sweater and jeans she was wearing when she left her home on Feb 6. Although there were visible signs of external injuries, an autopsy has been ordered to establish the exact cause of death.© Compiled from news reports