A tourist identified as a New Yorker was arrested by police in Japan after he led them to the scattered body parts of a woman whose severed head was discovered in an apartment he had rented, media reports said Monday.
The case – with a possible tie to Long Island - has captured national attention over the past few days in Japan, where a suspect identified by Japanese media as Yevgeniy Vasilievich Bayraktar, 26, was taken into custody Feb. 22. The family of a woman reportedly told police she was missing since her date with an American.
Accounts from major newspapers such as the Japan Times and The Asahi Shimbun said surveillance video from Feb. 16 shows the woman entering an apartment building in Osaka Prefecture but not leaving. However, the video captured Bayraktar going in and out of the building — carrying “a large bag” or suitcase, the BBC and Japanese media said.
Japanese media reported Bayraktar was from New York but didn’t specify where.
In Mastic Beach, Japanese and New York media have been camped outside the home of a couple believed to be connected to Bayraktar. No one appeared to be home Monday.
Police in Japan began looking for the woman, who had reportedly met Bayraktar through social media, when she did not show up for work. The Washington Post said the woman had told friends she was “going to see an American for a date” and told Instagram followers in a Feb. 15 posting she was off to “meet Jay.” Her family reported her missing on Feb. 17.
Police went to an apartment Bayraktar was renting and arrested him on suspicion of “confining a woman,” but it was in another lodging he had “booked” that they found a woman’s head in a suitcase, Japanese media reported.
Eventually, he led investigators to a woman’s naked torso in a mountainous area of the Osaka Prefecture, then two arms placed side by side about 600 yards from the torso, then a pair of legs in the neighboring Kyoto Prefecture, the Asahi Shimbun said. Police believe the parts belong to the same woman, the outlet reported.
Hyogo Prefecture police, where the unnamed missing woman is from, declined to answer questions Monday night.
— With John Valenti