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Chiba police arrest 4 including minor for suspected arson, murder

INZAI, Chiba -- Four people, including a minor, were arrested on Feb. 19 after a body was discovered in the remains of a residence that burned to the ground here, it has been learned.

    The Chiba Prefectural Police have set up an investigative task force, and is hurrying to identify the body and any problems that could have existed between the suspects and the owner of the house.

    Suspects Junya Nakauchi, 20, of Tokyo's Sumida Ward, Taiga Kanazaki, 20, of Inzai, Chiba Prefecture, Miku Kanno, 20, of no fixed address, and a 16-year-old girl from Tokyo have been arrested on suspicion of murder and arson of an inhabited building. Police believe that the four set a fire inside the wooden, one-story prefabricated residence in the Ryufukuji district of Inzai on the afternoon of Feb. 17, killing one and burning the house completely to the ground. Police have not disclosed whether the four suspects have admitted to the allegations against them.

    According to the Inzai Police Station and other sources, the house is believed to belong to 55-year-old Yoshiko Ebihara, who lived there alone. At roughly 4:40 p.m. on Feb. 17, a nearby resident called emergency services, but all of the home's approximately 50 square meters were burned. The fire was extinguished after around two and a half hours, and a body of unknown age or sex was discovered in the debris.

    The four suspects are friends, and one of them had been acquainted with Ebihara.

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