Thirteen years have passed since Namiko Takaba was murdered in the front entrance of their apartment in Nagoya, Aichi Prefecture, and yet everything has been preserved almost exactly as it was during that fateful afternoon of November 13, 1999. That’s because her husband, Satoru has not given up hope that his wife’s killer will be brought to justice. Preserving the crime scene is his way of holding on to that hope.
From the moment that he received the phone call that his wife “collapsed after throwing up blood”, the lives of Satoru and their then 2 year old son were irrevocably changed. They would find out later from the police that Namiko was stabbed in the neck. He has already spent 10 million yen ($123,000) to rent the three bedroom house Nagoya’s Nishi Ward, bloodstains and all. Some of the blood found in the apartment belongs to the still unidentified suspect – a woman with type B blood.
More than just renting and preserving the apartment, Satoru has joined Sora no Kai, the association of families of victims of murder and is became an advocate that lobbied for abolishing the statute of limitations for murders and other heinous crimes. By 2010, his lobbying paid off as a law was enacted that lifted the statute of limitations and lengthened it for other crimes.
Kohei, the then two-year old son who was nearby when her mother was murdered, is now 15 and together with his father, are still hoping the reopening of the case just last October will finally lead to an arrest or the suspect turning herself in.