Two men arrested in connection with the death of a 29-year-old nurse in central Japan have said they became acquainted online and had not met in person prior to kidnapping her, investigative sources said Wednesday.
Security camera footage shows Mayuko Uchiyama was attacked by two men as she was getting into her car in the parking lot of a fitness gym in Hamamatsu, Shizuoka Prefecture, last month.
According to the sources, the arrested men, in their 40s and 20s, have admitted to abducting Uchiyama but denied burying her body in a heavily forested area. The men have said they met on an internet message board and were not acquainted with the victim.
Police are searching for a third man seen in separate footage who they believe was the ringleader.
Authorities began looking for Uchiyama after her family reported her missing two days after the kidnapping on May 26. Her car was found in Kuwana, Mie Prefecture, about 100 kilometers northwest of Hamamatsu, but her body was only discovered on Saturday.
The body was buried in a shallow grave in Fujieda, Shizuoka, just 10 meters from the road and showed no signs of major injury.