Mysterious detail about victim’s clothing has police thinking foul play may be involved.

On the morning of August 3 officers from the Osaka Prefectural Police Department’s harbor patrol noticed something floating in the water of Osaka Bay. As their boat drew closer, they determined that it was a dead body.

The deceased had no possessions on him, and so his identity remains unknown, but the police believe the man to have been between the ages of 20 and 49, and to have been about 180 centimeters (70.8 inches) in height. Ordinarily, professional investigators would be expected to come up with a more precise estimate of age, and an exact height, but such determinations are proving difficult because the body was missing its head.

The body was discovered at approximately 7:45 in the morning, roughly 1.8 kilometers (1.1 miles) off the coast of the Nanko Minami district of Osaka’s Suminoe Ward. When officers pulled the body from the water, the torso was clothed in a long-sleeved T-shirt, but there were no pants, with a pair of underwear being the only garments below the waist, exposing the corpse’s semi-skeletonized legs.

Detectives say that there are gashes near the neck that could have been caused by a ship’s propeller blades, and one theory is that the man was sucked in by a passing boat and decapitated.

However, that still wouldn’t explain why the man was in the water in the first place. As one of the largest cities in Japan, Osaka’s harbor is heavily developed and doesn’t have sandy beaches with swimming areas.

Police have not ruled out the possibility of a suicide. However, a troubling detail is that the sleeves of the man’s shirt were stretched and tied together behind his back, which would be a difficult thing for the deceased to have done by himself. The binding suggests that either someone helped the man end his own life or, alternatively, that he was murdered, and the Osaka Prefectural Police are concurrently investigating the incident as both as a possible suicide and a possible homicide.

Sources: Mainichi Shimbun via Jin, Sanspo
Top image: Pakutaso