58-year-old Japanese man arrested in kidnapping case for allegedly causing tragic death of 16-year-old Chinese girl in Osaka

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The 58-year-old male suspect in Osaka.

9th December 2023 – (Osaka) A 16-year-old Chinese girl, who was a first-year high school student, was kidnapped by a 58-year-old Japanese male suspect in Osaka and taken to his residence. However, the following day, the teenage girl tragically passed away, seemingly due to acute drug poisoning, while at the suspect’s home.

According to the autopsy report, a lethal dose of cough medicine was found in the victim’s body, leading the local police to investigate the possibility of her death resulting from acute drug poisoning.

On the 7th of this month, the police arrested the 58-year-old male suspect on charges of kidnapping a minor. However, the suspect continues to vehemently deny any involvement in the crime.

Prior to the incident, the two individuals had been in contact through online social networks. The suspect later turned himself in to the police, but he maintains his innocence.

According to reports from the Japan Broadcasting Corporation (NHK) and the Sankei Shimbun, the police arrested the 58-year-old suspect, Takanori Tachibana, who is accused of kidnapping the 16-year-old underage girl on the roadside in Chuo Ward, Osaka City, on 11th November. He then drove her back to his residence in Ibaraki City, Osaka Prefecture.

However, the day after the kidnapping, the police received a phone call from someone claiming to be Takanori Tachibana, reporting that “an acquaintance of mine has lost consciousness and stopped breathing.”

When the fire department arrived at the scene, they discovered the high school girl lying motionless on a bed, with no signs of cardiac or pulmonary activity. After confirming her death, the whereabouts of Takanori Tachibana, who should have been present, remained unknown. However, on the evening of the 7th, he surrendered himself to the Ibaraki Police Station and was subsequently arrested on charges of kidnapping a minor.

During the investigation, the police examined the high school girl’s smartphone and found records of online communication with Takanori Tachibana dating back to October of this year.

The autopsy revealed the presence of a potentially lethal dose of cough medicine in the victim’s body. Additionally, traces of stimulant drugs were detected, although the dosage of the stimulants did not reach lethal levels.

Furthermore, surveillance footage captured the high school girl purchasing four boxes of medication from a pharmacy in Osaka City on 10th November. The police are currently working to establish further details surrounding the case.