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.
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