Severed body parts found in Japanese apartment
A man has been arrested over the suspected serial killings of nine people, whose bodies or body parts have been found inside his apartment outside of Tokyo.
Takahiro Shiraishi, 27, confessed to cutting up the bodies and hiding them in cold-storage cases, covered with cat litter, a police spokesman said.
Investigators found the bodies when they searched the man's flat in Zama City in Japan as part of an investigation into the disappearance of a 23-year-old woman earlier this month.
Police are considering the investigation a planned serial murder case and said further charges would be laid when the results of DNA tests on the body parts were known.
Local media reported the bodies were of eight women and a man, and were believed to have died between August and October.
The missing woman, who was thought to be one of them, had contacted the man via social media seeking someone for a suicide pact, and the two were captured by security cameras outside of train stations near the suspect's apartment, according to reports.
Her brother had put in a request with the police for her search.
Local media said police first found the severed heads of two victims in coolers in the apartment's entryway, then found the other seven while searching in the suspect's apartment.
Police also reportedly found a toolbox and a saw that they said may have been used to dismember the bodies.
Mr Shiraishi told police he dismembered the bodies in his bathroom, and put out some of the body parts as garbage, Kyodo News agency reported.
The man's neighbours told media they had noticed foul smells near the apartment.
Police declined to comment on the reports about how many bodies were found at the property.