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Murder Mystery Deepens In Miyako Island Case

Date Posted: 2004-03-25

It happened on Miyako Island in 1998.

A woman living alone had disappeared, and was later found murdered, bound with ropes about her body.

Police conducted an investigation, but couldn’t pick up clues that would lead to an arrest. In the small island community, the murder triggered near panic, because residents know each other and couldn’t believe it could happen.

Earlier this year, six years after the murder, Miyako Police made an arrest, charging 63-year-old Fujiko Shimoji, a neighbor to the victim, with murder. The Naha District Prosecutor’s Office had been investigating the case since the murder happened. They’d discovered that Shimoji had borrowed money from the who was killed, and neighbors had seen her together with the victim.

This week, police released her because of a lack of evidence. Shimoji kept silent since her arrest February 27, speaking only to her lawyer. She’d insisted “I’m innocent. I never did kill her”. Police had no choice but to release Shimoji.

The Miyako police chief says, however, “We did things very fair and correctly. There was nothing wrong. We are not giving up. We are still going to investigate and find the suspicious person.”

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