Body parts belonging to at least nine people have been found in an apartment southwest of the Japanese capital of Tokyo, authorities said on Tuesday. A 27-year-old man was taken into custody and is expected to be charged.
The gruesome discovery was made on Monday when police carried out a search of an apartment in Zama, a city about 35 kilometers (22 miles) southwest of Tokyo. It followed an investigation into the disappearance of a 23-year-old woman.
Police searching the apartment found a cooler box containing the dismembered heads of two people, the Japanese newspaper Mainichi Shimbun reported. They later found other cooler boxes with additional body parts, raising the total number of victims to at least nine.
A 27-year-old man who lives at the home was taken into custody.
Investigators were led to his apartment while investigating the disappearance of a 23-year-old woman from Hachioji, a city about 21 kilometers (13 miles) northwest of Zama. The woman is believed to have posted a message online saying that she was looking for someone to join her in committing suicide.
The woman, whose identity was not immediately known, was reported missing on October 24. Footage from security cameras showed the missing woman and the man walking together at the Hachioji train station and a station near the man’s apartment a day earlier.
The identities of the other victims were not immediately known, but neighbors indicated that they could have been there for months. “There’s been a nasty smell coming from that apartment. I first noticed it back in August,” a neighbor told a journalist from NHK.
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