Man 'hid in closet' before killing high school girl

Man 'hid in closet' before killing high school girl
Charles Thomas Ikenaga is escorted by police to prosecutors at about 8:10 a.m. on Thursday.

A 21-year-old man held in connection with the murder of a high school girl in Mitaka, Tokyo, was quoted by police as saying that he hid in the girl's room to wait for her to come home, according to sources.

"I planned to kill her when she came home," the Metropolitan Police Department quoted Charles Thomas Ikenaga from Ukyo Ward, Kyoto, as saying. Ikenaga's charge was changed from attempted murder to murder on Thursday, as the 18-year-old girl died from her wounds at hospital Tuesday evening.

The MPD believes that Ikenaga clearly intended to kill her because he brought a knife and work gloves into her room.

According to the sources, Ikenaga told the police that he entered the girl's house via an unlocked window on the second floor in early afternoon of Tuesday and hid in a closet of the girl's room on the first floor.

After the girl returned, Ikenaga allegedly attacked her and stabbed her as she was trying to escape outside at 4:50 p.m.

There is evidence that the two scuffled on the steps inside the house, and traces of blood were found near the entrance.

Shortly after 9 a.m. that day, the girl had visited Mitaka Police Station to seek help over Ikenaga stalking her. Although the police called Ikenaga's phone three times that day to give him a warning-in the morning, noon, and at about 4 p.m.-he did not answer and the officer left a message each time, saying: "This is Mitaka Police Station. Please call us back."

The officer called the girl's cell phone at about 4:30 p.m. to confirm her safety, and she said she had safely returned home.

As Ikenaga was quoted as telling the police that he heard the girl talking on the phone, he may have noticed that she was in contact with the police. At the time, the girl's parents were not home and she was alone.

On Sept. 28, shortly after he arrived in Tokyo, Ikenaga purchased a knife at a mass retailer in Kichijoji, a district close to the girl's house, and was spotted in the area several times in the week before the murder.

The MPD on Thursday morning sent Ikenaga to the Tachikawa branch of the Tokyo District Public Prosecutors Office on suspicion of murder and home invasion. In the afternoon, the MPD launched a search of Ikenaga's condominium in Kyoto.

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