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Setagaya killer may be Asian or Japanese of mixed descent: report+
[October 16, 2006]

Setagaya killer may be Asian or Japanese of mixed descent: report+

(Japan Economic Newswire Via Thomson Dialog NewsEdge) TOKYO, Oct. 17_(Kyodo) _ The police investigating the December 2000 murder of a four-member family in Tokyo's Setagaya Ward believe that the suspect may be a continental Asian or a Japanese of mixed descent, the Sankei Shimbun said Tuesday in its online edition.

It is the first time the Metropolitan Police Department has gained the racial profile of the suspect after nearly six years of carrying out investigation, the report said.

The police gained the lead through anthropological analyses of DNA samples taken from the bloodstained sweatshirt recovered from the scene, it said. The police said earlier the suspect had A-type blood.

Experts agree that the suspect's paternal ancestry is Asian, which could be Chinese, Japanese or Korean, and his maternal ancestry is European, the report said.

The experts believe the suspect is more likely to be a continental Asian because of the ethnic group's history of intermarriages with European nations in Central Asia. If the suspect were Japanese, his ancestors likely had inter-racial marriages at a relatively recent past, for example, at his mother's or grandmother's generation, the report said.

Mikio Miyazawa, 44, his wife Yasuko, 41, their daughter Niina, 8, and son Rei, 7, were found murdered in their house on Dec. 31, 2000. Investigators believe the four were robbed and murdered judging from the crime scene.

The police believe the suspect was capable of reading Chinese characters because the couple's credit cards, drivers licenses and diaries were laid out in an apparent effort to find personal identification numbers.

The police have also sent investigators to South Korea because a size 28 centimeter shoe print found in the house suggested that the suspect was wearing Slazenger tennis shoes manufactured by a South Korean company.

Copyright 2006 Kyodo News International, Inc.

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