Man in custody admits he killed Niigata girl, investigative sources say
Japan Times -- May 16
A 23-year-old man who was arrested Monday night in connection with the murder of a 7-year-old girl in the city of Niigata has admitted he killed the girl, investigative sources said Tuesday.

He also told police that his car hit her while he was driving, but the autopsy found no clues of a car crash, suggesting the suspect might have lied about the crash, the sources said.

Police believe Haruka Koyabashi strangled the victim to death and abandoned the body after transporting it by car.

Police had investigated Kobayashi in April for allegedly driving around a junior high school girl, a suspected violation of a local prefectural ordinance. The case was sent to prosecutors.

Kobayashi, who lives in the same neighborhood as the victim, Tamaki Omomo, was arrested on suspicion of abandoning her body and inflicting bodily harm.

According to police Kobayashi has also confessed to those allegations. The case was turned over to prosecutors on Tuesday.

The president of the Niigata electrical engineering company where Kobayashi is employed said the suspect was “an earnest and quiet employee” who had never missed work without prior notice until May 7.

Kobayashi sent an email to the company in the late afternoon of May 7 saying that he was feeling unwell. He never returned to his place of employment, according to the company president.

News sources: Japan Times, ANNnewsCH
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