Murder accused ‘kept cat head in fridge’

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iol pic wld japancrime-schoolgirl AFP A hearse carrying the coffin of Japanese schoolgirl Aiwa Matsuo, alleged to have been murdered by a classmate, leaves the funeral hall in Sasebo, western Japan. Picture: JIJI PRESS

Tokyo - A 16-year-old Japanese schoolgirl who allegedly confessed to decapitating a classmate kept a severed cat head in her refrigerator, a report said on Tuesday.

The teen was arrested last week on suspicion of murdering fellow student Aiwa Matsuo, 15, after police discovered her dismembered body on a bed in the suspect's home in the western Japanese city of Sasebo.

The grisly case has attracted major media attention in a country with one of the world's lowest crime rates, as commentators search for answers to explain the teenager's pattern of increasingly violent behaviour.

Some reports have suggested the parents of the girl - who wasn't named because she is a minor - desperately sought to have her hospitalised but were rebuffed.

On Tuesday, the Mainichi newspaper said investigators found a severed cat head in a refrigerator and about one million yen ($10 000) in cash at the apartment where the girl lived alone.

She had reportedly been living there since April on the advice of psychiatrists after she battered her father with a baseball bat.

Her father - who remarried about three months ago after the girl's mother died of cancer last year - is believed to have given the cash to his daughter, who reportedly told investigators that she “wanted to dissect someone”.

The man has been quoted as saying that “my daughter's act can never be forgiven”.

Also on Tuesday, the Mainichi and Jiji Press news agency reported that the suspect told her stepmother that she planned to murder a person after growing bored of killing animals.

A day before the incident, her parents consulted with a psychiatrist and tried to get the girl hospitalised but the request was turned down due to lack of space at the facility, Jiji said.

The father then called a local child welfare office, but a security guard told him to telephone back after the weekend. - AFP


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