A 19-year-old youth was arrested Wednesday for allegedly assaulting a girl the previous day in a house in Kofu, Yamanashi Prefecture, shortly before the house burned down in a suspected arson incident that killed the girl's parents, police said.
The suspect, whose name is being withheld as he is a minor, admitted to the charge and also hinted at his involvement in the fatal arson, the police said, adding that he sustained burns on his face.
He turned himself in earlier and the police were questioning him on a voluntary basis.
He is suspected of punching the girl in the head inside the house at around 3:45 a.m. on Tuesday, causing an injury.
Two bodies were found after a fire gutted the house early Tuesday -- residents Seiji Inoue and his wife, according to the police.
Two daughters of Inoue were also living in the house. The younger sister said she came downstairs at around 3:30 a.m. after hearing a quarrel and saw a strange man in the dim light.
She was assaulted from behind while trying to flee, and her elder sister called the police to report that the house had been broken into by a thief.
A neighbor reported a fire in the house later. Several neighbors noticed the smell of oil, according to the police.
Police officers driving to the house spotted a man walking about 100 meters from the site, but did not initially stop him. Soon after arriving at the house, they came to suspect the individual might have been connected with the case.
But when they located and tried to question him, he fled.© KYODO