A corpse of a woman stuffed inside a suitcase was found by the roadside on Saturday in Saijo, Ehime Prefecture, according to police reports. The body of the still unidentified female – probably 60 to 70 years old, according to the police – was already decomposing and dumped beside the road in a wooded area near Fukujoji Temple.
A 50-year-old man walking near the aforementioned temple was alarmed by the stench of the body and found the suitcase. The man called the police at 4 p.m. on Saturday. Investigators said that according to the information available, the woman – around 1.5 meters tall – had most likely been dead for around 10 days already. The woman was wearing a black long-sleeved shirt and her body had been forced into the case with her knees bent. The police could not find anything on the dead body that may help in establishing her identity. Also, the autopsy performed Sunday couldn’t single out the cause of death because the body was already too decomposed for analysis. The police also revealed that there were no visible external injuries on the body, from what could be made out.
Police investigators say that they believe the body may have been indoors for a period of time before being placed in the suitcase and dumped outside, coming up with this theory due to the extent of the body’s decomposition. High outdoor temperatures would have caused the body to decompose faster if the body had been stuffed into the suitcase soon after death, investigators explained. A local resident who frequently passed by this road claimed that the suitcase was not there Thursday morning, leading the police to believe it was dumped there after that time. The road where the suitcase was found rarely has traffic. “I rarely go down the city road,” said 60-year-old Mieko Takeda, a local resident. “It’s really scary that such an incident could occur in the neighborhood.”