Man hid inside schoolgirl’s home before fatal stabbing

TOKYO (Kyodo) — A 21-year-old man suspected of fatally stabbing a high school girl in Tokyo Oct. 8 waited inside her home before attacking her, investigative sources said Oct. 10.

Charles Thomas Ikenaga allegedly attacked Saaya Suzuki, 18, in front of her home in Mitaka, Tokyo, shortly before 5 p.m. Oct. 8, stabbing her five times on the back of her neck and shoulder as well as her abdomen and arm, police sources said.

After Suzuki consulted police earlier Tuesday about being stalked by Ikenaga, an officer confirmed her presence in her home by phone around 4:30 p.m. that day, the sources said. Ikenaga said he entered Suzuki’s home through an unlocked upstairs window and waited for her for several hours in a closet in her first-floor room.

The suspect, a former boyfriend of the victim, said he listened to her answer the call from the officer from inside the closet shortly before attacking her, according to the sources.

The injuries indicate a relentless attack despite the victim’s attempts to flee, showing clear intent to murder, they said. The sources said a witness saw the suspect in the street on top of Suzuki. She was confirmed dead at a hospital.

Ikenaga was earlier quoted as saying he had “waited for her near her home with the intent to kill her,” and that he held a grudge against her over the end of their relationship.

He also told police he had been to Suzuki’s house “many times before,” suggesting he was familiar with its layout.

Police sent Ikenaga, an unemployed resident of Kyoto, to prosecutors Oct. 10, upgrading the charge from attempted murder to murder. His residence in Kyoto’s Ukyo Ward was searched later, with police confiscating a computer and other items.

Ikenaga had been waiting at places frequented by Suzuki for several days before the incident, according to the account she gave police.

An aspiring actress, Suzuki became acquainted with Ikenaga via Facebook about two years ago and had dated him until last fall, when she went to the United States to study.

It is suspected Ikenaga’s anger toward Suzuki grew after she blocked his calls around June.

Ikenaga told police he bought a knife on Sept. 28 after arriving in Tokyo the day before, the sources said.

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