Japan man held over bodies and severed heads in flat

Members of the media gather in front of an apartment building where media reported nine bodies were found in Zama, Kanagawa Prefecture, Japan in this photo taken by Kyodo on October 31, 2017Image copyright Reuters
Image caption Reporters gathered outside the suspect’s home on Tuesday

Japanese police have arrested a man after finding parts of nine bodies in his apartment in Zama, near Tokyo.

Police found two severed heads in a cold-storage container outside the flat of the suspect, named as Takahiro Shiraishi, while investigating the disappearance of a woman.

They also found the body parts of seven other people, also stored in cool boxes, in his apartment.

The 27-year-old is being held on suspicion of disposing of the bodies.

Police had found the body parts of eight females and one male, some in varying stages of decomposition, Japanese newspaper Mainichi Shimbun reported.

Mr Shiraishi told police he had killed the nine and hid their bodies, broadcaster NHK reported, citing the Metropolitan Police Department.

“I killed them and did some work on the bodies in order to hide the evidence,” NHK quoted him as saying.

Meanwhile, his next-door neighbour said he had started smelling strange odours from the flat after Mr Shiraishi moved in in August, NHK and Asahi Shimbun said.

Police made the grisly discovery while looking for a 23-year-old woman, who had been missing since 21 October.

Investigators found that Mr Shiraishi had been in contact with her, after she wrote online that she wanted to commit suicide.

On Tuesday, reporters gathered outside the suspect’s home, while neighbours expressed shock at the incident.

“It’s a quiet residential area here, with a day care centre nearby. I can’t believe the bodies were discovered in an area like this,” a 41-year-old neighbour told Mainichi Shimbun.

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