TOKYO: A Japanese woman at the centre of a multiple murder case who reportedly coerced people into starving family members to death has been found dead in her cell, a police spokesman said yesterday.
Miyoko Sumida, 64, was the chief suspect in a probe that has transfixed low-crime Japan since three decaying corpses were discovered in an empty house where she once lived.
Sumida’s lifeless body was found in bed in the cell she shared with two others yesterday morning. A long-sleeve shirt was wrapped tightly around her neck, a police spokesman said.
Newspapers reported that she likely killed herself, quoting her lawyer as saying that she had often said she wanted to die.
“An autopsy is now being undertaken on her body, and police will decide if it was suicide or not after the autopsy,” a police spokesman said.
Media have offered extensive coverage of the case since the gruesome find of three rotting bodies at an empty house in Hyogo prefecture in October.