New details emerge in grisly Japanese murder case that saw six killed in remote scenic village
- Two of the six victims are now believed to have been choked to death, in what appears to have been a case of domestic violence
Two out of six people who were found dead at a home in southwestern Japan earlier this week had signs of being choked, while the others had sustained stab wounds, investigative sources said on Wednesday.
Police so far suspect that Masahiro Iihoshi, a 42-year-old resident of the house in Takachiho, Miyazaki prefecture, had problems with his wife Mikiko, 41, which may have led to the killing of her, their two children and his parents. Iihoshi is believed to have killed himself, with his body found about three kilometres (1.9 miles) away from the murder scene on Monday.
The police are still working to officially determine how five family members were killed at their home. An acquaintance of the family was also apparently attacked and killed as he visited the house.
The wife and the couple’s 7-year-old daughter, Yui, had choke marks but no other notable wounds, according to the sources. But the body of Iihoshi’s 66-year-old mother, Mihoko, had severe injuries, with signs of massive bleeding at the site. A bloodstained machete was also found there.
Meanwhile, 44-year-old Fumiaki Matsuoka, the acquaintance who was killed, is believed to have visited the house on Sunday, saying he should play a mediator role for the family.
Matsuoka’s father contacted the police the following morning after being unable to contact his son.
A brother of Iihoshi, who lives outside the town of Takachiho, also contacted the police on Monday, saying he was unable to reach the family members by phone.
Police went to the house after the report and found the bodies.