Man arrested over Japan lottery winner killing

Thu Oct 23, 2008 3:43am EDT
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TOKYO (Reuters) - Japanese police arrested a 51-year-old newspaper deliveryman this week on suspicion of killing his girlfriend after a row over her 200 million yen ($2 million) lottery winnings, Kyodo news agency said.

The arrest came after a three-year investigation into the disappearance of Hisako Yoshida from her home in the northern prefecture of Iwate in 2005, after she won a lottery the previous year, the agency said.

She appeared to have kept the win a secret from everyone but her boyfriend, Jinichi Kumagai, Kyodo quoted the police as saying.

Kumagai confessed to the killing on Wednesday and police following his directions found what they believe to be Yoshida's remains, Kyodo said.

He told police he had used part of the prize money to pay off his debts. Kumagai's electronic parts business went bankrupt in 2005, the agency said.

Iwate police confirmed that they had arrested Kumagai on suspicion of Yoshida's murder, but declined to give further details.

(Reporting by Isabel Reynolds; Editing by Alex Richardson)