Japan presses charges against murder suspect in Vietnamese schoolgirl's death

By Khanh Lynh   May 27, 2017 | 09:34 am GMT+7
Japan presses charges against murder suspect in Vietnamese schoolgirl's death
Japanese police investigate the scene where Linh's body was found, in a picture published by the Vietnam News Agency, indicating Kyodo News as the source.

The Japanese man allegedly kidnapped, sexually assaulted then murdered the nine-year-old girl in late March.

Japan has formally prosecuted a Japanese male suspect on charges of kidnapping, sexual assault and murder of a Vietnamese schoolgirl, Yomiuri Shimbun newspaper reported.

Yasumasa Shibuya, 46, was arrested last month as the authority suspected he had killed Le Thi Nhat Linh, a third-grader in late March. Shibuya has reportedly remained silent since his arrest, but the authorities believe there's enough evidence. 

Linh's DNA matches those from hair and blood samples taken from the two cars belonging to the suspect. His car was also seen near the victim's home as well as the places where her body was discovered and where her belongings were found the day she disappeared.

Investigators believe that Shibuya kidnapped Linh minutes after she left home for school and brought her into a trailer parked near his house, where he sexually assaulted her.

He then strangled her to death and transported her body on another car to a river 10 kilometers (6 miles) away, where he disposed of the body.

Shibuya lives only 300 meters away from Linh's home and heads the parents' association at her school. He is also a crossing guard tasked with ensuring children to get to school safely.

The school is a 10-minute walk from her home, and like many children in the area, Linh usually walked on her own. However she disappeared while en route to school in the morning of March 24.