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Suspect on run after Niigata stabbing may have lain in wait for victim: investigators

This image provided by Niigata Prefectural Police shows Ryosuke Saito near Niigata Station shortly before the fatal stabbing.

NIIGATA -- A man wanted over the fatal stabbing of a 20-year-old woman in a building in a busy area of Niigata may have lain in wait for her before attacking her, investigative sources have told the Mainichi Shimbun.

Police have placed the 25-year-old suspect, Ryosuke Saito, on a wanted list on suspicion of killing 20-year-old Yuzuki Ishizawa, who was fatally stabbed in a building near JR Niigata Station on the evening of Nov. 15.

Niigata Prefectural Police suspect that the crime was premeditated, and that it was carried out with strong murderous intent, because of the relentless way in which the victim was attacked.

Ishizawa had worked in a restaurant on the second floor of the building, and is believed to have gone to work at about 9 p.m. on Nov. 15. Investigative sources said Saito had gone to the restaurant before as a customer, and had become acquainted with Ishizawa when she served him.

An autopsy carried out on Ishizawa's body found that her cause of death was loss of blood. They also found that her stab wounds were deep, reaching her organs.

On Nov. 17, police released a new image of Saito captured near Niigata Station. His hair appeared black, and he looked to be carrying a fold-up umbrella in his right hand.

(Japanese original by Hidenori Kitamura, Niigata Bureau)

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