The Korea Herald


Four relatives arrested over bodies: Japan police

By Korea Herald

Published : Nov. 7, 2012 - 14:42

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Police arrested four members of the same extended family Wednesday in a multiple murder investigation that has transfixed Japan, an official said.

Newspapers and television news programs have offered extensive daily coverage since three decaying corpses were found in an empty house in Hyogo prefecture in the west of Japan several weeks ago.

A fourth body encased in a concrete-filled drum was pulled out of the sea west of Hyogo earlier this week as police said more people were missing, presumed dead.

The main suspect in the case -- a 64-year-old woman called Miyoko Sumida who used to live in the abandoned house -- has been in custody since early in the probe, which began last year.

Officers on Wednesday re-arrested Sumida and arrested her 62-year-old common-law husband and her two sons, aged 30 and 25.

They also arrested a 42-year-old man married to one of the women whose body was found in her house, a force spokesman said, taking the total number of arrests to five.

Police have obtained arrest warrants for three others and were due to arrest them Wednesday, the Mainichi Shimbun newspaper and other reports said.

All four dead were related to, or acquainted with, the chief suspect, reports have said.

News coverage of the case has featured tangled family trees and speculation over the reasons behind the multiple deaths, which has centered on claims the family has large debts and hinted at the involvement of organized crime.

Japanese press frequently report details of police investigations that would be considered prejudicial in other countries.

The case has been particularly high-profile because crime levels are comparatively low in Japan, where social order is highly prized. (AFP)

<관련 한글 기사>

日 뒤흔든 잔혹 연쇄살인범들 관계 밝혀져

일본에서 전 국민을 경악케 만든 잔혹한 연쇄살인사건과 관련해 친인척 관계인 용의자 네 명을 일본 경찰이 긴급 체포했다.

수 주 전 일본 서부 효고현의 한 빈집에서 부패된 시체 세 구가 발견되자 일본 현지 언론들은 특종으로 보도했었다.

한편 지난 주 효고현 근해에서 콘크리트로 채워진 드럼통 안에서 또 다른 시체가 발견됨에 따라 경찰 당국에서는 이 외에 사망했을 것으로 추정되는 희생자가 더 있을 것으로 예상하고 수사를 강화해왔다.

이번 사건의 주 용의자인 미요코 스미다(64)는 수사 초기단계에 이미 연행되어 작년부터 구금된 상태다.

경찰 측에서는 지난 수요일 스미다를 다시 체포하며 62세의 동거남과 두 아들을 함께 검거했다.

이와 함께 당국은 종전에 시체로 발견된 여성의 남편을 추가로 체포했다.

보도에 따르면 희생자들은 모두 각각 스미다와 연관이 있는 관계인 것으로 알려졌다.

한편 현지 언론은 이번 연쇄살인사건이 가족 친인척이 지닌 금전적 부채와 관련이 있을 것으로 보도하고 있으며 이에 경찰 당국은 조직폭력배의 개입여부를 조사하고 있다. (코리아헤럴드)