Police in Yamaguchi Prefecture are searching for a man in connection with the deaths of five people whose bodies were found in four houses on Monday.
According to police, two houses, located 60 meters apart, partially destroyed by fire in a mountainous area of Shunan on Sunday night, Fuji TV reported. The remains of a 79-year-old woman was found in one of the houses, while the bodies of a couple in their 70s were found in the other burned-out house. The bodies of an 80-year-old man and a 73-year-old woman were found in two other houses 200 meters away. Fuji TV quoted police as saying they had been beaten and stabbed.
Police said a 63-year-old neighbor of one of the houses destroyed by fire has gone missing. A haiku was found pinned to the window of his home. It read: “Setting on fire—smoke gives delight—to a country fellow”.
The area has bout 40 residences.
The man, whose name has not been made public, has a reputation in the village as a trouble-maker, reports said.