The Killing of a Woman in Kumagaya City: How a 32-Year-Old Male Dispatch Worker Was Arrested | FRIDAY DIGITAL

The Killing of a Woman in Kumagaya City: How a 32-Year-Old Male Dispatch Worker Was Arrested

Saitama Police's "45 Days of Persistence": The Murder of a 27-Year-Old Woman in Kumagaya City, Saitama Prefecture, Traced by Analyzing Images from Security Cameras and Drive Recorders A total of 1,426 investigators were mobilized, and 456 households were interviewed to find the culprit.

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This is the moment when Tomita left the Kumagaya station for the inspection. He did not cover his face with clothes, and looked unconcerned.

On September 3, Hidemi Miyazaki, 27, was murdered at her home in Kumagaya City (Saitama Prefecture). On October 21, about a month and a half later, the Saitama Prefectural Police arrested Ken (Suguru) Tomita, 32, a temporary worker living in Higashimurayama City, Tokyo, on suspicion of murder. He is said to have met the victim through a social networking service at the beginning of this year, but Tomita has denied the murder charge.

At first, this case was full of mysteries. A reporter for a national newspaper told us.

“There were no signs of damage to the room, and the body on the futon had no disarrayed clothes. The room showed no signs of having been ransacked, and there was no disarray of clothing on the body. On the other hand, it turned out that Mr. Miyazaki had consulted with the police several times in the past, and neighbors testified that they had heard a male voice speaking a foreign language coming from his room.

There are few clues, and the motive and murder weapon are unknown. In such a situation, how did the police identify the suspect? A source close to the investigation tells us the story.

“The key was the ‘relay investigation. This is a recent method of investigation in which images from security cameras are collected and stitched together to trace the culprit. However, in this case, the number of security cameras around the scene was small. That’s why it took so long to arrest him.

It was the persistence of the Saitama Prefectural Police that enabled them to overcome the difficulties.

“In mid-September, we narrowed down the number of culprits to five. The Saitama Prefectural Police increased the number of investigators from the initial 80 to a total of 1,426, and interviewed 486 people in 456 households. In addition to the security cameras, they also collected and analyzed the cars owned by the neighbors and the drive recorders of cars passing near the crime scene. As a result, it was discovered that Tomita had visited the victim’s house in a rental car on the day of the incident, which led to his arrest.

What will happen next? Crime journalist Yasuhei Ogawa examines the situation.

“The police must have physical evidence. The police must have physical evidence, probably related to the weapon that strangled the victim. The police’s goal at this stage is to extract a confession at any cost in order to prosecute and maintain the trial.

What happened between the man and the woman in the incident that took place behind closed doors? What happened between them?

Suspect Tomita in junior high school. He attended elementary and junior high school in Kokubunji, and was called “Tomii” by his friends.
Mr. Miyazaki’s apartment for single people. The incident was discovered by a friend who was concerned that he could not be contacted.
Mr. Miyazaki in junior high school. His classmates say that he was inconspicuous. He was a member of the ping-pong club and was good enough to participate in the prefectural tournament.

From “FRIDAY” November 12, 2021 issue

  • Director of Photography Hasuo Shinji

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