Arrests after headless body found in Japanese hotel room but man’s head still missing


Japanese police said they have arrested a woman and her parents in a beheading case at a popular night entertainment district in Japan’s northern city of Sapporo, where a headless man was found in a hotel room three weeks ago.

Hokkaido police on Japan’s northern main island said Tuesday they arrested 29-year-old Runa Tamura and her father Osamu Tamura, a 59-year-old psychiatrist, the day before on suspicion of conspiring to decapitate the victim in a hotel room and then relocate his severed head in the middle of the night between July 1 and 2.

The victim’s head, Hitoshi Ura, 62, has since been missing.

Police searched the suspects’ home on Tuesday and arrested the prime suspect’s mother, Hiroko Tamura, a 60-year-old part-time worker, on suspicion of conspiring with her family to move and store the head at home.

The police did not say exactly how the daughter and father worked together. Police are still investigating the motive and would not say if the woman and the victim knew each other.

The police also determined that Runa may be mentally ill. Media reports quoted neighbors as saying she had difficulty attending school and had lived in seclusion since childhood.

Kyodo News and other media reported that the victim and another person, believed to be Runa Tamura, had checked into the Susukino area hotel known for its short-stay “love hotels.” About three hours later, only one of them was seen walking with a large suitcase.

The victim’s companion was dressed in light-colored women’s clothing and a wide-brimmed hat when entering the hotel, but was dressed in black when exiting, Kyodo said, citing unnamed investigative sources.

Ura’s body was later discovered on July 2 by a hotel employee checking the room, as no one had checked out by the afternoon. According to news reports, the worker found the victim slumped in a bathtub. None of his belongings had been left in the room and the bed appeared unused.

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