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July 22, 2017

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Taiwanese man held for '05 murder of young girl in Japan

UTSUNOMIYA, Japan--A 32-year-old man was arrested Tuesday on suspicion of killing a primary school girl in Imaichi, now Nikko, Tochigi Prefecture, in 2005, police said.

Takuya Katsumata, unemployed of Kanuma in the prefecture, admitted murdering Yuki Yoshida, 7, in December 2005, who was kidnapped on her way home from school, according to a joint investigation headquarters of the Tochigi and Ibaraki prefectural police.

According to the police, Katsumata allegedly stabbed her in the chest numerous times with a knife-like object between 2:38 p.m. on Dec. 1 and around 2 p.m. the following day in Tochigi Prefecture, or in its vicinity. Yoshida died of loss of blood.

"I killed the girl for sure. What I can say now is I feel sorry for her," Katsumata was quoted as telling the police.

According to investigative sources, the security camera image analysis confirmed Katsumata's vehicle on the route on Dec. 1, 2005, from where Yoshida went missing to the site where her body was found. His vehicle matches the description of the suspicious car seen in the area.

Katsumata had been arrested with his mother on suspicion of possessing counterfeit luxury brand goods on Jan. 29. He was later indicted for the charge.

Katsumata used to live near the house of Yoshida about five years prior to the murder case and also is familiar with Hitachi-Omiya, Ibaraki Prefecture, where her body was found, the police said.

Katsumata, a knife collector, had once surfaced as a suspect in the police investigation. Although he had hinted his involvement in the case prior to Tuesday's arrest, his statement lacked details.

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