Thursday, July 11, 2024

Setagaya Family Murders Remain Unsolved More Than Two Decades Later

The police are asking the public for any information about the Setagaya family murders, which happened over 20 years ago in Tokyo.

Last week, the police handed out flyers at Sejiogakuenmae train station, appealing for details on the case, as they’ve done every year during this period, with hopes that new information will come forward.

They also put up a mannequin at the station with clothes similar to what the perpetrator is believed to have worn during the murders.

On December 31, 2000, 44-year-old Mikio Miyazawa, his wife Yasuko, 6-year-old son Rei, and 8-year-old daughter Niina were found dead in their home. The son had been strangled while the rest were stabbed with a knife.

setagaya family murder
The Miyazawa family was found dead in their home on December 31, 2000

Investigators found fingerprints and other evidence that indicated the suspect ate ice cream and used the family’s computer after the attack. He eventually left the house the next morning after spending several hours inside.

While most of the police officers who worked on the case have since retired, many still attend the memorial ceremony, which is held in the city each year.

So far, more than 280,000 officers have been involved in the case. While the police have received over 16,000 pieces of information from the general public, they are no closer to finding the killer. Currently, there is a 20 million yen reward for any details that lead to the killer’s arrest.

setagaya home
The murder took place in the family home, which was located in the Kamisoshigaya neighborhood of Setagaya

One spokesperson from the Tokyo Police Department said they will not give up until they solve the case.

Despite the clothing, sand, and weapons that were left at the scene by the killer, they have not identified any potential suspects.

Investigators did, however, determine that the clothes, including a sweater, and the weapon, both of which were left at the house, were purchased in Kanagawa Prefecture. The killer also left behind a bag and some trainers at the scene, both of which were covered with three different types of fluorescent dye.

setagaya murder clothes
The clothes that the killer was wearing at the time of the murders is being displayed on a mannequin

The sweater, which had only been released a couple of months before the horrific murders, had traces of bird droppings and various types of willow leaves were found in the pocket.

Investigators were able to determine that 130 of those specific sweaters were sold in Tokyo, but have only been able to locate the owners of twelve.

Officials also analyzed the blood left behind at the scene. They determined it was type A and belonged to someone whose mother is of European descent, possibly from a region near the Adriatic or Mediterranean Sea.

They also analyzed the Y chromosome, which revealed the suspect’s father is of Asian descent. He is believed to have a thin build and be approximately 170cm tall.

Anyone who has information regarding the Setagaya family murders is urged to contact the local police at 03-3482-0110.

Brooke Carter
Brooke Carter
Freelance writer who loves dogs and anything related to Japanese culture.
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