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Police suspect gangster trouble in alleged murders at central Japan home

An area around the home of Takenori Ichikawa, where three people died, is seen in Sakaki, Nagano Prefecture, on May 27, 2020. (Mainichi/Masahito Minagawa)

SAKAKI, Nagano -- Individuals close to the investigation of an incident in which three people were confirmed dead in central Japan after they were found unconscious in a home here on May 26 said that the eldest son of the family had some trouble over the former wife of a man linked to a criminal gang.

The eldest son and his father, Takenori Ichikawa, were out of their home in the central Japan city of Sakaki, Nagano Prefecture, at the time of the incident, while Ichikawa's wife, their daughter Anna, 22, and second son Naoto, 16, were staying at home, according to Nagano Prefectural Police. Anna and Naoto died, while the wife was unscathed. The family had no immediate connections to a criminal gang.

The third person who died at their home was a 35-year-old man of no fixed address who had ties with a criminal gang. He and Ichikawa's children who died had sustained head injuries. A pair of items appearing to be handguns were found inside their home, and police are investigating the incident as a possible murder case.

Prior to the incident, the eldest son had filed a damage report with Ueda Police Station, claiming that he was beaten by the 35-year-old man at the parking lot of a convenience store in the Nagano prefectural city of Ueda on the night of May 24.

In response, the prefectural police were tracking down the 35-year-old after obtaining an arrest warrant for him on suspicion of bodily injury, while advising the eldest son to stay at a hotel for his safety.


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