Japan police believe suspect was likely bent on murder

The Yomiuri Shimbun
Jun Saito is seen under arrest on Sunday evening in Hanno, Saitama Prefecture.

SAITAMA — A 40-year-old man was arrested late Sunday night after three people were found dead in Hanno, Saitama Prefecture.

Jun Saito is currently under arrest on suspicion of attempted murder in connection with the death of a man whose body was found on the grounds of a home in Hanno, along with the bodies of two women. The Saitama prefectural police are currently investigating Saito over possible murder charges.

The victims are believed to be a couple in their 60s who lived in the residence and their daughter, who was in her 30s and lived elsewhere.

Saito lived alone in a house about 60 meters from the crime scene. He is suspected of attacking the three people inside the house, chasing them out of the residence and striking them repeatedly on the head and elsewhere, leading the police to strongly suspect that Saito was determined to commit murder.

According to the police, Saito allegedly tried to kill the man by hitting him with what appeared to be a blunt object shortly after 7 a.m. Sunday. Several blunt objects that Saito is believed to have used in the attack were seized from the suspect’s home.

Saito is said to have refused to talk about the case.

The police initially said Saito was arrested on suspicion of murder, but later changed this to attempted murder.

The couple was found lying in the yard and the daughter near the front door. A man who lives close by told police he heard a loud thump at around 7 a.m. Sunday, and when he looked outside, he saw a man hitting something with a stick-like object.

The witness also heard another man’s voice saying, “Stop!” and at least two women screaming.

Part of the couple’s house was on fire around the time their bodies were found, and the police suspect Saito may have set the fire after attacking the three people.

According to investigators, the couple’s car had been damaged several times in the past. Saito was arrested on suspicion of damaging property about a year ago but was not prosecuted.

Police said a security camera in the parking area of the couple’s home captured Saito entering the property Sunday morning. Investigators raided Saito’s house and arrested him at around 10 p.m. Sunday.