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Dead man found in car in parking lot; police say body may have been there over two years

18 Comments
By Casey Baseel, SoraNews24

On evening of June 8, police officers responded to a reported theft at a roadside mini-mall in the Ubagayama neighborhood of Niigata City. It’s unclear if they found the culprit of the stolen property, but what they did discover was a dead body inside a car in the shopping center’s parking lot.

The deceased male could be seen lying in the backseat footwell of a compact kei-class car, and, adding to the shock, the body was partially skeletonized, indicating that a considerable amount of time had passed since the man’s death. However, while Niigata is far less developed than some other prefectural capital cities in Japan, the shopping center and its parking lot are still situated near a major road, as seen in the video below, and the shopping center itself sees plenty of customer traffic.

None of the store workers or facility maintenance staff have been able to recall when the car first appeared, but investigators believe it may have been sitting there for two and a half years. Police have been able to identify the owner of the car as a 50-something Niigata resident who was reported missing in November of 2019. Upon searching the vehicle, they discovered a wallet and other items which they were able to determine as belonging to the missing man, as well as a number of gas station receipts, with the most recent being for a gasoline purchase in October of 2019.

That would suggest that the car hasn’t moved since around the time the man was reported missing, though that may or may not match the time frame for the man’s death, as police believe he may have been living out of the car for a period of time prior to his passing. Still, it suggests that the car was parked in the lot for more than 30 months without anyone bothering to report it, with the man being deceased for a long enough portion of that to begin decomposing. A cause of death has not yet been publicly confirmed.

▼ The parking lot entrance

Screen-Shot-2022-06-10-at-11.16.17.png

Online commenters were startled at how long the body had gone unnoticed, especially since the car was registered to someone a missing person report had been filed for.

“How does this happen when the car belonged to someone who’d gone missing? How? Could the police not have found him sooner than this?”

“Some officers just got exposed for not doing their jobs.”

“If the car was parked there for two and a half years, it should have been noticeably deteriorating. Like, you can tell it hasn’t moved in way too long once you see the tires have gone flat.”

“Didn’t any of the workers or customers ever think ‘Ya know, that car’s always parked in the exact same spot’?”

“That sort of thing happens in rural parking lots sometimes. You come across cars that have been parked in the same spot forever and aren’t getting driven, but since the parking lots are big and have plenty of space, as long as they’re not causing a problem, the store owners don’t really make a fuss about it.”

Regarding the last comment, while parking lots in urban areas in Japan usually have gates, attendants, and fees, farther outside the city centers you’ll find lots that are free to park in and have no gate or guard posted. That was the case at the shopping center where the body was found, and one worker speculated that everyone might just have thought the car belonged to someone who was taking advantage of a free space to park overnight without realizing it hadn’t moved in years.

Source: Nitele NewsFNN Prime OnlineYouTube/日テレNEWS

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© SoraNews24

©2022 GPlusMedia Inc.

18 Comments
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A car that sat in a mall parking lot for over two years and nobody thought to even take a peek inside to investigate who it belonged to? I call bull.

-5 ( +4 / -9 )

Your usual oblivious and incompetent Japanese situation .

Uh geeze i don't know how long that car has been there in our parking lot

-4 ( +7 / -11 )

“Some officers just got exposed for not doing their jobs.”

On the contrary,

It seems to me like they were doing their job exactly as they should be,

being oblivious and useless to their surroundings.

-4 ( +5 / -9 )

That would suggest that the car hasn’t moved since around the time the man was reported missing, though that may or may not match the time frame for the man’s death, as police believe he may have been living out of the car for a period of time prior to his passing. 

When their family or acquaintance reported missing person, they'll got many forms to fill and many questions. Those information also will include at least information about car that missing person was used. So those information being gathered without any follow up for more that two years.

“Some officers just got exposed for not doing their jobs.”

>

-2 ( +3 / -5 )

Pension seekers should take notice. If they want to hide a body of their dead relative, just throw them in the back seat of their car.

-2 ( +7 / -9 )

“That sort of thing happens in rural parking lots sometimes. You come across cars that have been parked in the same spot forever and aren’t getting driven, but since the parking lots are big and have plenty of space, as long as they’re not causing a problem, the store owners don’t really make a fuss about it.”

There was a ramen joint is rural Chiba that had the same rusted deteriorating car in the lot for almost a decade.

I only saw the car for that last year it was there, but the owner said that even though the car was there for 9 years, since it’s on private property, no parking laws don’t apply, and the police can’t tow it for free. He’d have to pay for a wrecker himself.

There are ways to claim property like cars and bikes that are parked in your property, but it usually requires it be there for over 6 months, and also requires a lot of paperwork that the ramen joint owner couldn’t be bothered to do. Because as the article said, parking lots in the sticks are pretty spacious and he wasn’t bothered by it.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

@purple_depressed_bacon

A car that sat in a mall parking lot for over two years and nobody thought to even take a peek inside to investigate who it belonged to? I call bull.

Not a joke, but when doing our stray cat (trap - neuter - release) patrol in the apartment complex' parking lot, there is this abandoned car in the lot: four flat tires, the hood color looks...burned(?), there is tons on stuff in the front and back seats that you can't see the inside (TBH it looks like the car's windows have been obfuscated on purpose(?) ).

I noticed it 7 years(!) ago. Did mention it to the other members, nobody got a clue. The lots are private, so "as long as the rent is paid"...

I've been expecting this one to make headlines ever since...

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Two sides of the "respecting privacy" coin.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Waited too long for his wife to finish shopping.

0 ( +4 / -4 )

Well if people didn't walk around with blinkers on...

I mean, it's kinda right there - in front of you and all...

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Great police work! LOL!

-4 ( +2 / -6 )

It was in a K car parking space meaning it was close to the door of the complex. So the bloke driving the loader to clear the park area of snow don't bother to check all season for two season ??? For 4-5 month this bloke been clearing slow from around the same car for 2 season and still bother the report it. ??????

0 ( +1 / -1 )

So I got a parking ticket while shopping for 10 minutes and they parked for two years and got no ticket?

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

It comes of the mentality of "MENDOKSAI"" and the fact that NO ONE wants to be responsible for anything including helping when needed.

It's all about being responsible and Japan really lacks it.

-4 ( +2 / -6 )

Checking anomalies is ‘bothersome’.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

A car that sat in a mall parking lot for over two years and nobody thought to even take a peek inside to investigate who it belonged to? I call bull.

Who are you accusing of lying? The police?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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