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Cops: Japanese businessman killed 2

January 15, 2009 12:00:00 AM PST
A Japanese businessman accused of killing his wife may also be to blame for another death.Kazuyoshi Miura was found hanging in his jail cell last October, just hours after returning to L.A. to face charges in his wife's 1981 murder. Miura and his wife were vacationing in L.A. when she was shot in downtown.

At the time of his death, the coroner's office said Miura killed himself. But his lawyer, Mark Geragos, insisted he likely was choked and beaten in his jail cell.

Miura was convicted in 1994 in Japan of murdering his wife, Kazumi, but was later acquitted.

Detectives unveiled new evidence on Wednesday showing Miura not only killed his wife, but another woman as well two years earlier. They believe the victim was 34-year-old Chizuko Shiraishi, Miura's girlfriend.

Police said Shiraishi flew to L.A. in March of 1979, two days after Miura arrived in L.A., but she disappeared. Police said Miura returned to Japan and using Shiraishi's ATM card, liquidated $20,000 from her bank account.

"Within days of returning to Japan, Miura was seen removing Chizuko's personal belongings from their shared apartment, including items of clothing and cosmetics, which were unopened," said LAPD Det. Richard Bengston.

While Miura was making inconsistent statement to people about her whereabouts, in Los Angeles, authorities found the skeletal remains of a woman in the remote area of L.A. It would take detectives 5 years to confirm that the remains belonged to Shiraishi.

Her remains were so badly decomposed that the coroner was never able to determine a cause of death. Her case is closed, filed as a homicide with Miura listed as the suspect.

City News Service contributed to this story.


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