Japan murder case: Neighbours say suspect was troublesome

Japan murder case: Neighbours say suspect was troublesome
Reporters gather in front of Yasuhiro Kimino’s apartment building in Nagata Ward, Kobe, on Wednesday afternoon.

KOBE - Yasuhiro Kimino, a 47-year-old man arrested Wednesday on suspicion of abandoning the body of a 6-year-old Kobe girl in the city's Nagata Ward, frequently had trouble with neighbours.

"Hey, come out if you're in there!" Kimino reportedly used to shout at residents in his apartment building, which is about 50 meters away from a wooded area where plastic bags containing dismembered body parts of Mirei Ikuta, a first-year student at Nakura Primary School, were discovered Tuesday.

Kimino lives on the second floor of the building, which is also about 150 meters east of Ikuta's grandmother's home, where the girl usually lived.

According to the apartment's residents, Kimino often yelled at them. He also caused trouble with people who asked him to stop making noise, and sometimes called the police.

Neighbors said Kimino often became heavily drunk on shochu distilled spirit and beer during the day and that they heard him making strange sounds and saw him walking around without a shirt on.

Neighbors said Kimino moved into the apartment building a year or two ago. They said he told them he lost lots of money conducting foreign exchange margin transactions and that he was on a dating website. A laptop was found in his room. Neighbors added he often took drugs that appeared to be sleep medication.

Some neighbours said they especially remember the suspect's fondness for cats.

"I want your cats," Kimino said when he unexpectedly visited one of the residents in the building the day he moved in. The resident, who had eight cats, gave him two. He was still interested in other cats and once had more than three cats.

Ikuta also reportedly liked cats.

A woman living nearby said, "When she saw a cat on the street, she happily chased it."

Surveillance camera footage at a convenience store shows Ikuta walking with a parasol and Kimino following her on Sept. 11, the day she went missing.

After Hyogo prefectural police released Ikuta's photo and launched search efforts on Sept. 12, Kimino was seen walking and talking to himself holding a can of beer.

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