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Police poised to arrest man over 2002 murder in Tokyo following fingerprint match

Kentaro Narushima

TOKYO -- Police on Jan. 21 requested an arrest warrant for a man in his 40s over the murder of an office worker in Tokyo in 2002, after he turned himself in and told police he had killed someone in the past.

Police requested the warrant in connection with the murder of 23-year-old office worker Kentaro Narushima, who was killed in his apartment in Tokyo's Adachi Ward in 2002.

The man turned himself in at Asakusa Police Station in Tokyo in December last year, hinting at his involvement in the murder with the admission that he had killed someone. Police had been investigating his statements. People familiar with the investigation said one deciding factor in the decision to seek the warrant was that the man's fingerprints matched those believed to have been left by the killer.

Initially fingerprints found at the scene were not deemed evidence in the case, as some of them were unclear, but after the man suggested his involvement, police re-examined them using new technology introduced in 2014, and were able to make them out, producing a match.

The man is suspected of killing Narushima in his apartment on Dec. 21, 2002, and stealing items including the victim's wallet. During voluntary questioning, the suspect was quoted as telling police that he had "no money" and he had apparently never met the victim before.

The killing was discovered the following day. Narushima was found collapsed on the floor with his hands and feet bound with electrical cable. Investigators determined that he died from brain injuries after being hit with a blunt object. He also suffered cuts and stab wounds on his face and back.

The fact that the victim was wearing a brown jumper and a backpack at the time suggested that he had been attacked while preparing to go out.

When contacted by the Mainichi regarding the latest development in the case, the victim's mother, who lives in the Chiba Prefecture town of Nagara, said, "Even if the suspect is arrested, my son won't come back. It's a complicated feeling."

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