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Suspect re-arrested in 2008 Ogimi murder

Date Posted: 2010-02-11

Seikou Hirakata is in police custody once more, charged with suspicion of theft in conjunction with a December 2008 murder in Ogimi Village.

The 44-year-old joins two others who have been arrested and charged with the death of Mitsuo Nitta, whose mutilated body was found in six pieces in a northern Okinawa farmyard in mid-December 2008. Hirakata is being held this time on charges he and the other two individuals dug a hole in the Taminato area farmyard to bury the body.

Hirakata was originally arrested along with his 32-year-old wife and Nobuhide Shimabukuro 10 months ago. Shimabukuro confessed to his involvement and told police where to find parts of Nitta’s body, describing how they dumped his arms in a well. The three have been thought from the beginning to have killed Nitta and stolen several million yen from his bank accounts. Police had tracked Nitta’s ATM cards and discovered their use at various locations in Okinawa and mainland Japan following his death.

Police say they arrested Hirakata this time because of fingerprints found on materials left near the hole where parts of Nitta’s body were discovered. He had been released last March after police didn’t think they had enough evidence to hold him. The well where the murder victim’s arms were recovered is in a secluded section of a quiet graveyard in Naha City. Officials say few people ever walk around or think about the cemetery. The well was covered by tin, and is surrounded by forest. The well, authorities say, had not been used for many years.

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