An 18-year-old high school student was stabbed to death in a residential district of Tokyo’s Mitaka on Oct. 8, hours after she and her parents told police that she was being stalked and threatened by her former boyfriend.
Tokyo's Metropolitan Police Department will investigate whether police response was appropriate. The National Police Agency has been calling for rigorous actions against stalking cases.
After receiving an emergency call, police found Saya Suzuki, a third-year student at a private high school in Tokyo's Suginami Ward, dressed in her school uniform, lying in front of her home around 5 p.m.
She sustained wounds to her neck and abdomen and was confirmed dead about two hours later.
Police arrested Charles Thomas Ikenaga, 21, on suspicion of attempted murder. He admitted to stabbing Suzuki with a knife, and said he harbored a grudge after they separated.
Ikenaga, a resident of Kyoto, was found 600 meters west of Suzuki’s home around 6:30 p.m. He told police he had bought the knife several days ago.
Suzuki and her parents had visited the Mitaka police station that morning. Police quoted her as saying, “(Ikenaga) has been lying in wait for me. (His behavior) makes me feel like I'm being stalked.”
An official at the community safety division of the Mitaka police station called Ikenaga’s cellphone three times. After failing to get through, police let Suzuki and her parents leave the police station.
According to the MPD, a teacher in charge of Suzuki’s class at her high school called the Suginami police station on Oct. 4 and asked where she should go to report a suspected stalking case.
An official at the community safety division of the Suginami police station recommended that she contact Mitaka police because her home is in Mitaka.
But the official did not ask the student’s name or address, nor relay the case to the Mitaka police station.
According to the high school, Suzuki told the teacher that she was frightened because a male acquaintance has appeared around her home, and he had sent e-mails saying he would kill her or take revenge on her.
When Suzuki complained about Ikenaga on Oct. 7, the school’s deputy principal recommended that she report it to the police.
Her dream was to become an internationally known actress. She belonged to a talent agency, was taking acting lessons and appeared in a TV drama.
She had a good school record and planned to go to a private university in Tokyo. In recent years she went on homestays in Canada and Britain.
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