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LEAD: Boy's death in fall from Kawasaki condo may be murder case.

YOKOHAMA, March 30 Kyodo


Police said Wednesday they have begun investigating the death last week of a 9-year-old boy who was earlier believed to have fallen from an upper floor of a condominium in Kawasaki, Kanagawa Prefecture, as a possible murder case.

The police said a 68-year-old woman was shoved by a man on Wednesday in the corridor of the same condominium's 15th floor, which is believed to be near where the 9-year-old Yuki Yamakawa fell.

In addition, a security camera caught an image of a man walking behind the boy shortly before he fell, they said.

The man in the video may be the same person who fled after shoving the woman on Wednesday, they said.

The boy was believed to have fallen from the building at around 12:50 p.m. on March 20 after he returned from school.

Shortly before the incident, a resident saw the boy getting out of an elevator on the 15th floor of the 15-story building. The boy's school backpack was later found in the corridor.

The boy lived on the 14th floor, but after the first floor, the elevator stops only at floors with numbers multiplied by three.

An autopsy showed the boy died of a heart rupture. His shoes were still on and there were no external injuries, the police said.

In Wednesday's incident, a man thought to be about 30 shoved the 68-year-old woman who was cleaning the corridor at around 9:30 a.m.

The man told her on the first floor that there was garbage on the 15th floor before going up to the 15th floor with her and shoving her, the police said.

The man was about 160 centimeters tall, wore glasses and had untidy hair, according to the police.

In a separate video, a man was seen entering the building from the stairs of the first floor about 9 minutes before the boy's fall and then leaving the building from the same staircase about two to three minutes after the fall.

The police believe the man in the video is the same person seen walking behind the boy in the other video.
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Publication:Japan Weekly Monitor
Date:Apr 3, 2006
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