kure mountain

On Wednesday, we brought you news of a horrific murder that occurred in Hiroshima involving a 16-year-old girl who allegedly beat and strangled an ex-classmate to death in the mountains, hiding the body there. Since both of the girls were too young to have driver’s licenses and suspicious messages were found on the alleged murderer’s smartphone, police suspected that there was another person involved.

Police have now revealed that not one but six more people have been arrested.

In addition to a 21-year-old man who is believed to have driven the girls to the mountains, five more 16-year-old boys and girls have been arrested.

While the five 16-year-olds have admitted to taking part in beating and hiding the body of the deceased, Taihei Seto, the 21-year-old, denies abandoning the body, only admitting to going into the mountains.

Further complicating the case is the relationships of the eight people. Though the girl who turned herself in on July 12 was an ex-classmate of the dead girl, it seems that some of the people involved had never even met before the day of the murder.

One of the boys arrested was in a relationship with the girl who turned herself in, while Taihei Seto and the other 16-year-old boy lived in neighbouring Tottori Prefecture. It seems that of the six people arrested on Wednesday, two of the boys and one of the girls were brought from Tottori Prefecture to Hiroshima. Seto and the other two 16-year-old girls have been interviewed by the police.

As we mentioned previously, it seems that the deceased owed a sum of 30,000 yen (about US$300) to the girl who turned herself in last week. Additionally, the alleged murderer had told friends that she felt betrayed by the deceased after she was bad-mouthing her on Line, a popular smartphone messaging app. In response, it was decided that they should “settle” the matter and the group forced the deceased girl into Seto’s van. Initially, they said that an argument started in the vehicle, but now it seems that they actually started punching and kicking her while driving to the mountains. They continued to beat her and then strangled her to death after arriving, it is believed.

The police have taken Seto’s van as evidence and are trying to determine if the group had intended to beat the victim when she was forced into the van. There are still many details to be worked out in this increasingly unsettling case.

Sources: NHK (six people arrested, further details, Friday update), Sankei News
Image source: Wikipedia