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Murder victim’s body parts are all now accounted for

Date Posted: 2009-03-06

Okinawa Prefecture Police have now recovered all parts of Mitsuo Nitta’s body, and have charged one suspect in the case with suspicion of murder.

Nitta, whose mutilated body was found in six pieces, wrapped in plastic and buried in a northern Okinawa farmyard in mid-December, had been involved in financial dealings with three people, police say. His murder is believe linked to a business deal gone bad. Nitta’s body had been missing the arms when discovered at Ogimi Village.

One of the suspects in the case, Nobuhide Shimabukuro, finally broke down and told police of his involvement, telling officers they would find the missing arms in an old well in Naha City. “We cut the dead body in small pieces”, he said. Police say they’ve changed the charges against Shimabukuro from suspicion of abandoning a body to suspicion of murder. Two other suspects are also being held in connection with the case. The suspects had taken Nitta’s ATM cards and used them at locations in Okinawa and mainland Japan following his murder.

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 even walk around or through the cemetery. The well was covered by tin, and is surrounded by forest. The well, authorities say, had not been used for many years.

Seikou Hirakata, who had been arrested a few weeks ago, has already been formally charged. The 44-year-old Hirakata was arrested by Okinawa Prefecture Police. The third suspect is a woman.

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