Suspects in Sapporo Headless Body Case to Undergo Mental Evaluation

Yomiuri Shimbun file photo
Investigators enter the family home of three murder suspects in Atsubetsu Ward, Sapporo, in July.

SAPPORO (Jiji Press) — A psychiatric examination will be performed on a 29-year-old woman and her parents, all suspected of murdering a man whose headless body was found in a hotel in Sapporo in July, sources said Friday.

The Sapporo District Public Prosecutors Office in the capital of Hokkaido, northern Japan, obtained approval from the Sapporo Summary Court on Thursday to examine whether Runa Tamura, her father, Osamu, 59, and her mother, Hiroko, 60, are mentally competent to bear criminal responsibility, the investigative sources said.

The evaluation period will start on Monday and last until Feb. 28 next year.

Lawyers for the parents filed a complaint against the approval with the Sapporo District Court on Friday.

The head of the victim, a 62-year-old company employee, was found inside a bag kept in a container in the bathroom of the family’s home in Sapporo.

Video footage showing a person believed to be one of the three touching the head was also confiscated.

The Hokkaido prefectural police arrested the three in late July on suspicion of damaging the body of the victim and served fresh arrest warrants on them on suspicion of murder Aug. 14.

The parents told prosecutors that they did not imagine their daughter would commit a crime and denied involvement in the case, their lawyers said.