Suspected Slayer of Japanese Tourist Posed as Policeman

KUTA ~ A man who presented himself as a police officer is believed to have brutally bashed, raped and murdered a female Japanese tourist whose partly clothed body was recovered from scrub in a vacant lot on Jl Mertanadi, Kuta, on Monday.

Rika Sano, 33, went missing on Friday from a Legian hotel where she was staying with her friend, Mayumi Someya, 30, who is still in Bali under police guard to protect her from the killer.

Someya had reported the disappearance on Friday of her friend to police, who on Monday afternoon retrieved her damaged body and scattered personal belongings from the blood-stained site.

An autopsy at Sanglah Hospital, conducted in the presence of Japanese Embassy staff from Jakarta, found that Sano had suffered bruises, cuts, sexual violence and a brain haemorrhage. She had died two or three days before being found.

Police, deployed to Bali ports to stop the killer from escaping on Tuesday found a deserted Yamaha Mio motorbike at Padang Bai, the exit port to Lombok, which they thought but later disproved belonged to the killer.

Denpasar Police spokesman I Gede Alit Widana said Mayumi Someya had been unable to identify the killer from photographs of serving police officers and police would make a sketch of the suspect’s face and try to match it to known criminals on Bali.

Someya has told police she narrowly escaped being raped by the killer on Friday at the beach near Jl Dewi Sri, Kuta. The attacker, who said he was a police officer, later that night allegedly kidnapped Rika Sano from her room at the Prani Hotel and bashed, raped and murdered her.

Widana said police had examined four key witnesses, including Mayumi Someya and I Made Budiana, 28, who works in the front office and as a security guard at Hotel Prani, where he was on duty on Friday night.

In his testimony to investigators, Budiana said both Japanese girls had returned to the hotel about midnight on Friday with a local man who remained in the hotel public areas when the girls went to their room.

Around 15 minutes later Someya had left with the man and Budiana had not seen her return as he was sleeping.

However the man had returned at 2.30am. “He woke me up and said he was a member of the police,” said Budiana. The man had produced identification and had asked to be taken to the girls’ room.

Budiana had escorted the man to the room and told Someya he was a policeman who needed information. Someya had gone with the man, who returned alone only a few minutes later, said Budiana.

According to Budiana, the man had then been given access to the women’s room when he said he wanted to talk to Sano because her friend Someya was a drug dealer.

Budiana said he told Sano to cooperate with the man as her friend was in trouble over drugs. Sano expressed amazement but followed the man and they both were seen leaving on a black Yamaha Mio motorbike.

He said the man returned alone at 3.30am to “check” the girls’ room, which was opened for him with a spare key from the front office.

Budiana said he waited outside the room and the man emerged after 15 minutes carrying two bags. He told Budiana the room was not to be cleaned as it would be searched by special police.

Someya has said she was taken by the man to the beach about 2 kilometres from the hotel, almost raped and robbed of her passport, mobile phone, jewellery and cash.

She had escaped and returned to the hotel to find her friend Sano was missing.

Police have said the case will be receive priority in order to give piece of mind to tourists. “This murder of a tourist is a new mode of crime,” said spokesman Widana.

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