American arrested in Japan over severed head in suitcase
An American tourist has been arrested in Japan after police found the severed head of a woman in a suitcase in his holiday rental flat.
Yevgeniy Vasilievich Bayraktar, 26, from New York, is currently in custody and being questioned by police following the discovery in Osaka last week.
The victim is believed to be a woman, 27, from Sanda in Hyogo prefecture, who was last seen on CCTV cameras alongside Mr Bayraktar, just hours before she went missing on February 16.
Security footage reportedly captured the pair meeting at a train station in Osaka around midnight and then entering the apartment building together.
The woman had earlier told a friend that she was planning to meet a man she had met via a social networking site, according to local newspapers.
Her relatives raised the alarm with police on February 17 when she failed to return home and her mobile phone stopped working.
Mr Bayraktar was captured on security footage entering and leaving the flat several times on February 16 with a suitcase, but there was no further sign of the woman.
Six days later, police searched the flat and arrested Mr Bayraktar after receiving a tip that he was confining a woman in the flat before discovering a head in a suitcase. Arms, legs, and a torso were also found in a mountainous area nearby.
Mr Bayraktar is thought to have arrived in Japan in January for a sightseeing trip and was booked to stay in the flat for around a week.
He has denied the allegations and remained silent during police questioning, according to media reports.
Japan has long enjoyed a reputation as one of the world’s safest countries, with its crime rates among the lowest for industrialised nations.
Last month, preliminary police data for 2017 showed that the number of recorded crimes in Japan had fallen to a record low of just over 915,000 incidents.
However, every year, a number of violent crimes also hit the headlines, including the so-called “Twitter killer” Takahiro Shiraishi, who was arrested last year after reportedly luring nine young people he found via social media to his home before killing them.