Murder Suspect Called Teen Victim to Meeting After Being Unable to Receive Money Victim Sends Electronically; Confined Victim in Car at Roadside Rest Stop

The Yomiuri Shimbun
Riko Uchida is led away from the Asahikawa-Higashi Police Station in Asahikawa, Hokkaido, on Friday.

ASAHIKAWA, Hokkaido — A woman arrested on suspicion of murdering a 17-year-old girl by making her fall off a bridge had called the girl and arranged a meeting between them after being unable to receive money the victim had sent her through an electronic payment service, The Yomiuri Shimbun has learned.

According to investigative sources, Riko Uchida, 21, had objected to a photo Runa Murayama posted of her on social media, and demanded Murayama pay her money over the issue. Murayama was a high school student from Rumoi, Hokkaido.

Uchida found out about the photo from a 16-year-old female acquaintance, and then threatened Murayama through direct messages on social media and other channels. Uchida forced Murayama to pay her ¥100,000, which she remitted through an electronic payment service, the sources said.

However, Uchida had trouble receiving the payment. On the evening of April 18, Uchida and a 16-year-old unemployed boy traveled together by car to a roadside rest stop in Rumoi, where Uchida had told Murayama to meet her. They then confined Murayama in the car. Later, an unemployed 19-year-old woman and a girl allegedly joined them, and together they drove around Asahikawa.

According to the Hokkaido prefectural police, Uchida and the unemployed woman are suspected of making Murayama fall from the Kamui Ohashi bridge on the outskirts of Asahikawa into the Ishikari River before dawn on April 19. Murayama drowned in the river.

The Hokkaido prefectural police on Friday turned Uchida and the other woman suspected of murdering Murayama over to the Asahikawa District Public Prosecutors Office.