An 18-year-old high school girl was stabbed to death Tuesday on a street near her home in the Inokashira district in Mitaka, western Tokyo, and police later arrested a 21-year-old man in the same city on suspicion of attempted murder.
According to the police, the girl and her parents visited Mitaka Police Station at about 9 a.m. that day and told the police that she has been stalked by a man she went out with until last year.
The victim is Saaya Suzuki, a third-year student in a private high school. She was stabbed in the neck and abdomen and confirmed dead about two hours after she was found by a passerby.
Around 4:55 p.m., the woman heard a scream of "Help!" and found Suzuki in a school uniform lying on the ground. The woman called the police.
A man was witnessed fleeing from the scene, and police officers found a man fitting the description given by witnesses on a street in the city about 1½ hours later.
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As his pants were bloodstained and the man admitted to the police he stabbed her, they arrested him, initially on suspicion of attempted murder.
According to the police, the man was identified as Charles Thomas Ikenaga, whose occupation and address are unknown.
The police quoted him as saying, "I stabbed [Suzuki] with a knife."
According to investigation sources, when Suzuki was interviewed at the police station, the police considered the possibility that it was a stalking case. The police immediately called the suspect's mobile phone three times, but received no response.
According to sources, it is likely that Suzuki and the suspect were dating until last year.
Suzuki reportedly told the police that she became acquainted with Ikenaga through Facebook in December 2011 and she stopped going out with him around autumn of last year. Ikenaga's mother, who lives in Kyoto, told The Yomiuri Shimbun he has been living in Osaka alone and went to Tokyo on Sept. 27.
Waiting for several days
The suspect allegedly waited for Suzuki to ambush her near her house. The sources said it is likely that the suspect arrived at the site shortly before 5 p.m. Tuesday and stabbed the victim with a knife after she came home.
Based on the suspect's confession, the MPD officers found a bloodstained jacket, a shirt and a bag near the crime scene.
Ikenaga reportedly told the police, "I tied the shirt around my head when I stabbed her." He told the police, "I used a knife and threw it away while I was running away."
The knife remains missing.
Suzuki had belonged to an entertainment business company in Bunkyo Ward, Tokyo, until August this year.
According to the company, she wanted to be an actress and belonged to the company since she was a fifth-grade primary school student and appeared in some movies and TV dramas. She was fluent in English and experienced a homestay overseas.
With university entrance examinations scheduled for next year, Suzuki told people around her, "I'll do my best to grow up to be a good actress even after enrolling in a university."
The crime scene was in a residential area about 200 meters southeast of Mitakadai Station on the Keio Inokashira Line.
A 33-year-old woman who was walking near the crime scene at the time said: "I heard a scream of 'Somebody!' and looked at the direction from which the voice came. A woman was lying on the ground with a man on top of her. I saw the man punching her."