A teenager was arrested by the Japanese police on Friday over suspicion of killing a 13-year-old schoolboy, in a brutal murder that local media believe was possibly inspired by the Islamic State group’s recent spate of executions. The naked body of Ryota Uemura was found in undergrowth near the Tama River in Kawasaki last Friday, following which police launched an investigation.
Uemura’s neck had been repeatedly hacked at and a knife, which police believe may have been used to commit the crime, was discovered nearby. The Kanagawa Police Department arrested the suspect -- a minor whose name was not revealed. Authorities also reportedly obtained arrest warrants for two other teenagers suspected of being involved in the murder.
"Some investigators suspect (the criminals) watched Internet videos showing the execution of hostages by Islamic State (IS) fighters and sought to mimic them," a Japanese magazine reported, citing a source close to police, according to Agence France-Presse.
Local media outlets also claimed that Uemura knew the suspects, and had been their target in the past. An autopsy determined that the boy was killed on Feb. 20. The wounds on Uemura’s neck indicated that his killer may have tried to decapitate him, The Japan Times, reported, citing local media reports.