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Five suspects charged with murder after body found near Tokyo River

New arrest warrants were issued Friday for five suspects in the murder of a man whose body was found in a suitcase in the Tama River near Tokyo last December.

The five, who were arrested last month on suspicion of abandoning the body, are now suspected of murdering the victim, 46-year-old video content creator Tadayuki Hara, according to the new arrest warrants.

The five are his former girlfriend, Mai Nishitaka, 32, her father Masahiro, 53, mother Miho, 51, brother Shogo, 34, and Nishitaka’s boyfriend Shuhei Iwaki, 39.

The new arrest warrants allege that between the night of December 15 last year and the early hours of the next day, the five conspired to strangle Hara at an apartment in Tokyo’s Ota district. Police say all five, except the mother, have largely admitted to the allegations against them.

According to Kanagawa Prefecture police sources, Nishitaka and Iwaki lived in the apartment. It is known that Hara entered the apartment, but his whereabouts afterwards were unknown.

Hara and Nishitaka had some problems after they broke up last September, the sources said, adding that the five are suspected of planning and committing the murder.

Kanagawa police arrested the five on May 25 this year for allegedly abandoning the victim’s body in a riverside area in Ota Ward on the Tama River, which separates Tokyo from Kanagawa, in mid-December last year.

The suitcase containing the body was found later that month by a person fishing in the river in Kawasaki.

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