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2 suspects linked to abandoned corpse may have met through online 'money-making' post

A road that leads to where the body of the victim was discovered is seen in the Setonoya district of Fujieda, Shizuoka Prefecture, on June 10, 2018. (Mainichi)

SHIZUOKA -- Two men under arrest on suspicion of illegally confining a woman, whose body was found on a Shizuoka Prefecture mountain, have suggested they had got acquainted through an online bulletin board post soliciting people to participate in "money-making" activities, investigative sources said.

Shizuoka Prefectural Police suspect that at least one other man was also involved in the crime. The police are investigating the possibility that the third man may have masterminded the crime and solicited people on the internet to participate in the scheme.

According to the sources, the two arrested suspects -- a man in his 20s and another in his 40s -- have told investigators that they neither know much about each other nor were acquainted with the victim.

There was also a post that appeared to solicit people to participate in bank transfer fraud on the online bulletin board where the two suspects apparently got acquainted with each other, say the sources.

After visiting a sports club in Hamamatsu, the victim, 29-year-old nurse Mayuko Uchiyama, was getting into her car parked at the facility's parking lot at around 6 p.m. on May 26 when the two men approached her. They then allegedly abducted her and stole her vehicle.

Uchiyama's car was found abandoned at a parking lot in Kuwana, Mie Prefecture, two days later. Shizuoka Prefectural Police found Uchiyama's body on a mountain in the Setonoya district of the prefectural city of Fujieda on June 9.

An autopsy on Uchiyama's body has suggested that she died shortly after she was abducted.

Analysis of records on her car navigator has revealed that the car was traveling in Shizuoka Prefecture, including the city of Shizuoka. Prefectural police believe that the suspects traveled to Mie Prefecture after abandoning the victim's body and dumped the vehicle in Kuwana.

While admitting to having confined Uchiyama, the two suspects denied that they abandoned the victim's body, the sources said.

A security camera near the abduction scene caught another man in addition to the two, leading prefectural police to suspect that at least three men were involved in the crime.

Shizuoka Prefectural Police have not disclosed the names of the suspects on the grounds that at least one other person was involved in the crime.

Uchiyama, a resident of the Shizuoka Prefecture city of Hamamatsu, began to work at a clinic in the city's Tenryu Ward in February this year.

An acquaintance said, "She appears to have been well liked at her workplace. I heard she told her co-workers that she enjoyed going to a sports club."

(Japanese original by Yukina Furukawa, Daichi Matsuoka and Nobuyuki Shimada, Shizuoka Bureau)

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