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    Stalker suspected in arson murder of elderly Japanese woman

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    The corpse of a 72-year-old Japanese woman was found in a home destroyed by a predawn fire in Yonago, Tottori Prefecture early on January 2. The woman reportedly had called police after being harassed by a stalker.

    The woman lived with her disabled husband. She reportedly called police after being harassed by an acquaintance who repeatedly told her "marry me" and "let's kill ourselves." The man reportedly stalked her and bombarded her home with silent calls on several occasions, even though he had already been warned twice about his criminal behaviour.

    Results from the woman's autopsy show typical signs of death from suffocation, as well as fractured right and left ribs, and marks on her cheek and stomach that indicate she had been struck. Her husband was not present on the day of the arson and murder, because he'd been living in a welfare home since New Year's Eve.

    Police found a bag with Japanese yen worth about US$2,000 in the house and are targeting the stalker in their investigation.


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