crime

Setagaya family murders remain unsolved 17 years later

12 Comments

About 20 police officers as well as local residents on Saturday paid their respects and placed flowers outside a home in Tokyo's Setagaya Ward, where a family of four was murdered 17 years ago.

Mikio Miyazawa, 44, his 41-year-old wife Yasuko, 8-year-old daughter Niina, and 6-year-old son Rei, were found dead on the morning of Dec 31, 2000. Miyazawa's son had been strangled, and the other three had been stabbed to death. Fingerprints and other evidence in the home indicate the killer used the computer and ate ice cream after the attack on Dec 30, spending several hours in the house before leaving the next morning before dawn.

The house and the house next door where Yasuko's sister and her late husband lived remain as they were 17 years ago.

Mikio's 86-year-old mother offered prayers at a memorial ceremony for the family in Setagaya Ward earlier this month. She said she hopes the police will be able to solve the case soon and says she keeps asking herself why this had to happen, Fuji TV reported.

Police handed out flyers appealing for information at nearby Seijogakuenmae train station and two other nearby locations, as they have done each year at this time, in the hope that someone will come forward with new information.

Many of the officers who originally investigated the case have retired but some attend the memorial ceremony each year.

reward.jpg

Approximately 246,000 officers have been involved in the case to date, and police have received more than 16,000 pieces of information from the public, yet the killer remains at large. The reward has been raised to 20 million yen for information which leads to the arrest of the killer or killers.

A police spokesman said the department will never give up until the case is solved.

Despite extensive detective work focusing on the killer's clothing, accessories, weapons, and other circumstantial evidence such as the sand found on the clothing that the killer abandoned at the scene, police have not identified any suspects.

Following the murders, police deduced that the clothes, including a sweater, and knife left at the scene had been bought in Kanagawa Prefecture. Three kinds of powered fluorescent dye were found on the trainers and bag left at the scene. In the pocket of the sweater, which had only gone on sale two months before the killings took place, traces of bird dropping, Japanese zelkova tree and willow leaves were found.

Police learned that 130 of those particular sweaters had been sold in Tokyo but have been able to only track down the owners of 12.

DNA analysis has revealed that traces of blood (type A) found at the scene not belonging to the family suggests that the killer has a mother of European descent, possibly from a country near the Mediterranean or Adriatic Sea. Analysis of the Y-chromosome has revealed that the killer's father is of Asian descent, with the DNA appearing in 1 in 4 or 5 Koreans, 1 in 10 Chinese, and 1 in 13 Japanese. He is believed to be about 170 cms tall and of thin build.

Anyone with any information is urged to call 03-3482-0110.

© Japan Today

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12 Comments
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We don't have the figures of police force expenses overseas.

Most this I would expect to review watch CCC, footage handle call-lines and more. Don't forget the CSI, etc staff.

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Approximately 246,000 officers have been involved in the case to date

I'd like to know what constitutes "involvement as this would be roughly 14,470 police a year. There are only approximately 7,721 members of the NPA.

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Let me rehash how many staff the phonelines, plus labrats,CSI, etc.

Contrary to most cop series most is tedious paper work, checking false leads, watching CCTV and more.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

It is extremely difficult to solve any crime if you have no suspect.

I am sure that the police have tried every avenue and just simply come up against a dead end every time.

Their reputations are at stake and they know it.

Wishing them success.

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Since the forensic leads have been exhausted, I think the only avenue remaining for the police is to use computers to develop a psychological profile of the killer. Not necessarily his motives for the crime, but a profile as reflected in his behavior while inside the house. He might be a gamer or have ties to some other subculture niche. By now he'll be approaching 40 years of age. He surfed the web on Miwazawa's home computer, presumably visiting Japanese-language sites, although details have not been made public. The security cameras at stations on nearby rail lines like Odakyu and Nambu apparently gave nothing useful. Years of dogged persistence by the detectives aside, it's become a cold case.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

I'd like to know what constitutes "involvement as this would be roughly 14,470 police a year. There are only approximately 7,721 members of the NPA

If you are going to pull your data off wikipedia then do some extra research.

There's a difference between the NPA 警察庁 (National Police Agency) and the MPD 警視庁 (Tokyo Metropolitan Police Department) of which there are over 43,000 police officers.

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Police work isn't like the movies or tv shows. Some are solved quickly, some go for years/decades before a lead comes forward (they are still looking for Jimmy Hoffa), some never go solved.

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. By now he'll be approaching 40 years of age. He surfed the web on Miwazawa's home computer, presumably visiting Japanese-language sites, although details have not been made public. 

I read extensive articles on this. The guy should be approaching either 40-50 years old, and the computer he searched were saved links on the family PC and he attempted to buy tickets to a show that was saved on the one of the bookmarks.

DNA evidence shows that he was likely of Korean heritage as noted in the article. Not noted in this article are the shoe prints found. The shoe prints matched shoes that were manufactured exclusively by a South Korean manufacture and even though they were sold overseas as well, the particular size was only sold in Korea. Tokyo Police sent investigators over to South Korea to research the shoes and it indeed were manufactured in South Korea, however they could not however trace where/when the pair was sold (since it would be impossible since so many exists).

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Can't imagine how one can live with that murder-case on his conscience!

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> If you are going to pull your data off wikipedia then do some extra research.

https://www.npa.go.jp/english/

There's a difference between the NPA 警察庁 (National Police Agency) and the MPD 警視庁 (Tokyo Metropolitan Police Department) of which there are over 43,000 police officers.

Thanks for the numbers.

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Is this case on te websleuth's site. Maybe it would help to get more eyeballs on it.

It seems unlikely that this was a random home invasion

A few questions:

-did the family have any big debts, to some of the notorius local loan sharks

-was there a life insurance policy

-any family disputes?

-what is the full extent of the Korean connection?

1 ( +1 / -0 )

From this site,

http://morbidstreak.blogspot.com/2015/10/the-setagaya-family-murders-bizarre.html

The skate park had apparently been causing the Miyazawa family some grief, due to the noise. They planned to move in March 2001, so they only had a few months left in their home. A witness reported seeing Mikio arguing with skateboarder a few days before the crime. Another witness reported seeing the father arguing with the Bōsōzoku, a bike gang.

I would have a long hard look at the skateboarders and bosozoku punks who were in that area at the time.

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