Man Arrested For Osaka Middle School Murders, 2nd Body Found

Friends mourn their classmates

Friends mourn their classmates, image from Mainichi Shimbun

Netizens have been shocked by the apparent murders of two middle school students, Hirata Natsumi and Hoshino Ryoto. Although the murder of the boy, Hoshino, has yet to be confirmed officially, a man has already been arrested for the murder of the girl, Hirata.

The pair went missing when they were wondering through an Osaka City in the small hours, disappearing from CCTV footage at some point after 5am. Yamada is also seen in the footage, the evidence that ultimately led to his arrest.

On SNS site mixi, netizens called for the death sentence for the criminal, but equally condemned the childrens’ parents for allowing them to wander through town in the middle of the night.

From Mainichi Shimbun:

45 Year Old Man Arrested, Boy’s Body Found

The murder suspect Yamada Koji

The suspect detained by police, image from Mainichi Shimbun

◇ Osaka Prefectural Police Suspect Disposal Of Corpse From CCTV Camera Footage

On August 21, Osaka Prefectural police arrested Yamada Koji (45) occupation unknown, of Korishinmachi, Neyagawa City, in relation to the incident in which the body of Hirata Natsumi (13), a first year student at the municipal Nakrida Middle School, Nayagawa City, Osaka, was discovered late at night on August 13 in the parking lot of distribution company in Takatsuki City, Osaka. Yamada was arrested after suspicions of his involvement grew following his appearance in CCTV footage. Furthermore, on the same day police also discovered a body in a bamboo grove in Kashiwara City, also Osaka, which is assumed to be Hoshino Ryoto, a classmate of Hirata’s who had also gone missing, and who had been seen with Hirata.

Police are keen to clarify all the details of the situation, and Yamada is assumed to know at least some of the details regarding Hirata’s death. The victim, Hirata, and the suspect, Yamada, are not thought to have been acquaintances.

According to an investigation spokesperson, late at night on August 13, Yamada is suspected of disposing of Hirata’s corpse in the parking lot of distribution company “Chokuhanhaiso”, in Banda-1, Takatsuki City. Hirata was found with several layers of duct tape wrapped around her face, and both her wrists were bound. There were also over 30 cuts on her left arm and left breast, the left-side of her abdomen, and her left thigh that were apparently made while she was still alive. There were also marks on her head and face where she had been beaten.

The autopsy results gave Hirata’s cause of death as suffocation. Discoloration of the skin on her lips was consistent with suffocation. Police think it is highly likely that Hirata was killed due to the fact that her mouth and nose were blocked off with duct tape.

Hirata’s body was discovered when a male employee (53) of the distribution company who had finished his delivery shift noticed the body in the reverse parking camera of his truck as he reversed it into a parking space. The employee found that there were marks that looked like blood stains underneath the family car he had moved from the parking space immediately prior, and it is assumed that the body had been disposed in such a way that it was concealed beneath the car.

Hirata and Hoshino are recorded in CCTV camera footage in a shopping street close to the Keihan Neayagawa Station between 1am and 5am. After that time, any trace of the two disappears.

◇The Suspect Sandwiched Between Police Officers In A Police Car, Lowers His Head As Far As He Can

At 8:43pm on August 21, the car carrying Yamada pulled into the Prefectural Police HQ in Chuo Ward, Osaka City. Yamada, wearing a black hat, was flanked by investigating officers and had lowered his head as far as he could, wincing.

So it seems like they’ve also found the boy’s body too…The two of them must have had so many things they wanted to do. I feel so angry at the perpetrator. And I hope that as a consequence of this, parents will think again about curfews and about the environment that their children live in.

Comments from mixi:

It’s because there are abnormal men like that living alongside normal people that we shouldn’t let our children go walking about late at night when there aren’t many people around.

I mean of course it’s not good that these children were wondering around in the middle of the night, but that doesn’t mean that it’s ok for them to be murdered. What did they do? I hope that man ends up in prison for the rest of his life and never gets out.

I hope that they will use this to stop minors wandering around (after about 9pm).

Rather than judging what their parents were thinking by having their children walking at night, I wish they’d do something about all these mentally abnormal people who murder in this way.

When it comes to this kind of crime where there is a lot of public concern, the Japanese police investigations really are excellent, more so than usual.

It looks like they’ve found a body that seems to be Hoshino, too…This is just so sad as someone who has kids their age. Is it really so easy to murder someone? Those children who were murdered, they were precious to someone!

I had hope that perhaps the boy had been spared, but I guess not. At night, no matter how many people are around, if there are children wandering then this kind of thing happens. Those parents who have some groundless confidence that their kids will be alright, they really need to think things over again.

Ah, I’d thought the boy might be alright. Such a pity. All I can hope for is that this criminal gets the harshest capital punishment. Making amends for this sin will take an awful lot…

Glad they arrested him, but this is the worst possible outcome. It would be unacceptable for the criminal to get anything other than the death sentence (grrr).

This incident is not going to be resolved just by arresting the criminal. Why the hell were a boy and a girl, middle school students, who only a short while ago were elementary school students, roaming outdoors at night? This doesn’t just end with saying that we’re sorry the children are dead, does it?

Why is it that those middle school students have their names and faces made public, but this guy in his 40s is being hidden?

People need to discipline their children so that they don’t go out at night, but I wish we lived in a country where even if people do go out roaming they don’t end up as victims of crime.

Once they confirm that this guy did it, I want him to get the death sentence the very next day. People who rob others of their human rights don’t need their own human rights.

This is the worst outcome, but I hope that they quickly unravel the motive behind this crime and how it led to murder.

So the boy died too? That’s such a pity. I pray for them.

This guy is obviously evil, but I think it’s bad that the two kids were wandering around late at night too. If they hadn’t gone out this would never have happened.

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