A female high school student from western Tokyo was stabbed late Tuesday afternoon and was confirmed dead that evening. The incident happened just hours after the 18 year old girl went to the police and reported a man who was stalking her.
Saaya Suzuki was found bleeding in front of her home in Inokashira at around 4:50 PM. Suzuki’s neighbours heard her scream, but she was found lying on the ground, still wearing her school uniform, with fatal knife wounds to her neck and abdomen. She was brought to a nearby hospital but was pronounced dead just before 7:00 PM because of massive blood loss.
The culprit was identified as Charles Thomas Ikenaga, 21, suspected to be Suzuki’s stalker. He was arrested 90 minutes after the police responded to a call on the incident. According to the police, Ikenaga admitted assaulting Suzuki. He also claimed to have “a knife ready beforehand, and abandoned it while running away.” The young man was wearing a purple turban when arrested by the police. Based on witness accounts, a man wearing a turban ran away from the scene where Suzuki died. A 64-year old man living in the neighbourhood also claimed seeing a man wearing a turban and a woman walking together in their area four or five days ago.
Suzuki was accompanied by her mother at around 9:00 in the morning of her murder when she went to the police to seek help. The officer in charge called Ikenaga’s phone thrice to warn him, but he did not answer. The police said that an investigation will be launched on how the officer in charge handled the case to ensure that protocols concerning stalking were properly observed.
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