Authorities in Japan announced Tuesday that they arrested a woman and her parents in connection with a case in which a decapitated man was found in a hotel room bathtub three weeks ago.
Reports say an employee at a hotel in the northern city of Sapporo found the naked, headless body slumped in the tub on July 2. The victim’s head was then missing until Monday, when police say they found it in the family home of a psychiatrist, according to the Kyodo News agency.
Authorities said they detained Runa Tamura, 29, and her 59-year-old psychiatrist father, Osamu Tamura, on Monday on suspicion of conspiring to behead the victim in the hotel room before moving the severed head to another location in the dead of night between July 1 and July 2.
Their home was raided Tuesday, and police also arrested Runa’s mother, Hiroko Tamura, a 60-year-old part-time worker, on suspicion of conspiring with her husband and daughter on the same charge.
Police did not provide details about how the daughter and her parents allegedly collaborated, and a motive is still being investigated. Authorities also did not confirm if Runa and the victim—identified as Hitoshi Ura, 62—were known to each other.
Runa may also have a history of mental illness, police noted, with local media reports suggesting that she had been reclusive since she was young.
According to Kyodo News, the victim and another person believed to be Runa checked into a hotel together in the Susukino area—which is known for its short-stay “love hotels,” establishments that typically charge hourly rates for people seeking a discreet place for sex.
The person seen arriving at the hotel with Ura was reportedly wearing light-colored women’s clothes and a wide-brimmed hat but left around three hours later dressed in black. The person was also seen carrying a large suitcase as they left.
When no one had checked out of the room by the afternoon of July 2, a staff member at the hotel went to see what was going on. Inside, the worker found Ura’s body in the bathtub. His belongings were missing and the bed appeared not to have been used.
An autopsy on Ura’s body found that he had died as a result of hemorrhagic shock caused by blood loss from stab wounds, according to the South China Morning Post, while his head had had been cut off using a blade that had been taken from the scene. Investigators say they now plan to conduct another autopsy on the recovered head.