• Crime & Courts

Mother is 3rd Family Member Arrested in Decapitation Case

The Yomiuri Shimbun
Investigators enter the family home of three suspects in Atsubetsu Ward, Sapporo, on Tuesday morning.

Police on Tuesday arrested a third person in connection with the decapitation of a 62-year-old man in Sapporo’s Susukino entertainment district earlier this month.

The Hokkaido prefectural police arrested part-time worker Hiroko Tamura, 60, on suspicion of destruction, possession and abandonment of a body.

Tamura’s daughter Runa, 29, and husband Osamu, 59, were arrested Monday on the same charges.

According to investigative sources, the partially decomposed head of a man was discovered Monday at the Tamura family home in Atsubetsu Ward, Sapporo.

Dental records identified the head as that of Hitoshi Ura, 62, a company employee from Eniwa, Hokkaido, whose body was found at a hotel on July 2, the police said.

According to the police, the three family members conspired to behead Ura with a blade-like object at the Chuo Ward hotel, then took his head from the premises and abandoned it late July 1 or early July 2.

Runa is believed to have been acquainted with Ura for some time.

The police have yet to confirm whether the suspects have admitted to the charges.

A hotel employee found Ura’s body in a room at the facility at around 3 p.m. on July 2.

Security camera footage shows a person with a suitcase enter the hotel with Ura at around 10:50 p.m. on July 1, then leaving the premises alone — with a suitcase — at around 2 a.m. on July 2.

The police suspect the person who entered the hotel with Ura was Runa, with Osamu being involved in the preparatory stages, including driving his daughter to and from the facility.

The police continue to investigate Hiroko’s involvement in the case, believing she may have been aware that Ura’s head was being stored in the family home.