Japan has enjoyed a reputation as one of the world’s safest countries for many years. It has some of the lowest crime rates among all industrialized nations and tourists generally feel at ease despite the fact that it is also one of the most populous.
Unfortunately, no matter how safe a place may seem, criminals exist in every nook and cranny. If there’s a place they can hide and wait, they will. Sometimes, they’re even closer than we think…
Meeting a Friend
The woman was from Sanda in Hyogo prefecture, Japan. She was 27 and was getting ready to go out to meet a man she had been talking to over a social networking website. The man was a foreigner, not Japanese and the site was designed so that men such as him could coordinate with Japanese women in order to meet up.
The young woman’s potential date was American and the two had been talking about getting together for some time. As far as her friends and family knew, the man’s name was Jay and he was from New York. She had even met with him before and the newest date was just the latest step in what could be a real, meaningful relationship…
Never Came Home
She shared the news of her latest date on Instagram, saying that she was going to “meet Jay.” But by the next day, her family became concerned. It wasn’t like her to stay out, but she had never come home. Not only that, but her phone kept going straight to voicemail. She had either turned it off or it was dead.
Seen On Camera
When the woman didn’t show up for work the next day as well, the police decided it was time to investigate some of her comings and goings. They soon uncovered some security footage of the missing woman meeting up with a man at a train station in Osaka around midnight. CCTV also caught the two of them entering an apartment building together. That must have been Jay…
The apartment, located in the western Osaka prefecture, was a place that this American tourist had stayed at a number of times. The police began to track the bookings and realized that whoever this Jay person was, he had stayed at a number of condos and minpaku, which are private lodging facilities, since arriving in Japan, about a week prior.
Jay, whose name would not be discovered until sometime later, arrived in Japan under the pretense of wanting to explore the country and take in a bit of sightseeing. He booked all of his lodgings online and communicated with the missing girl over the aforementioned app. But who was he, and what was his real purpose in the company?
Coming and Going
Jay’s real name was Yevgeniy Vasilievich Bayraktar, a 26-year-old man from Long Island, New York who had visited Japan several times, always with the same thing in mind. Further CCTV video captured images of him leaving the rented flat several times on the day the Japanese girl disappeared.
No Sign of Her
Yet in all of Bayraktar’s various comings and goings from the apartment, he was never once seen again in the company of the missing girl. It seemed she went in with him, but did not come out the front door. Police couldn’t prove anything from this footage directly, but it allowed them a chance to dig a bit deeper into the man’s past…
Home in New York
Yevgeniy Bayraktar’s mother and her husband, his stepfather, moved into their Long Island neighborhood along with her son, about a decade ago. Baykratar’s mother was once a mail-order bride who met his biological father, a Bulgarian doctor, while living in the Ukraine. His stepfather worked for a Long Island power company.
History of Hookups
Perhaps it was his mother’s former profession that gave Bayraktar hope that he might be able to meet his love by looking in another country. He had always had what his mother would describe as “a thing for meeting a Japanese girl” and had gone to the country in order to meet his soul mate. Obviously something went wrong…
Six days after the Japanese girl’s disappearance, the police received a tip about the man and arrived at Bayraktar’s rented apartment with a warrant. Oddly enough, he hadn’t left the country. This is particularly odd because the American was absolutely hiding something in the apartment and hadn’t thought to “Get while the gettin’ was good.”
As soon as authorities entered the condo, they smelt the pungent, perfumed odor of freshly-sprayed air freshener. They investigated every square inch of the place until they discovered the same suitcase they had seen Bayraktar carrying on the CCTV footage. Inside that case was a grisly and horrific sight: discovery: the severed head of a young Japanese woman…
Where was the rest of the girl’s body though? Well as it happens, the police tracked what they assume to be the missing girl’s arms, legs, and torso buried beneath a light covering of soil in the mountains of Shimamoto, another town in the Osaka Prefecture. It appeared that all the limbs, the head included, were separated with patience and precision by a very sharp knife.
After hearing of her son’s arrest, Bayraktar’s mother spoke to the Nippon News service in his defense. “…He has a fondness for Japan, he said he wants to live there,” she explained. “Our son is not the type of person who would do a terrible thing.” Nevertheless, the gruesome evidence in his possession does not help his case…
Locked Her In
The current theory is that Bayraktar may have even forced the missing girl to stay with him in the rented apartment against her will. He might have locked her in, confined her to the space until she agreed to bend to his will. When she didn’t, he became enraged, accidentally killed her, and had no other choice but to try and dispose of the evidence.
Today, Yevgeniy Bayraktar is in police custody and being questioned about the girl’s disappearance, though he has remained mostly silent about the allegations against him. The girl’s identity has been established but has been withheld publicly until after the proceedings have concluded. But this isn’t the only disturbing story to come out of Japan in recent years…
Take for instance the so=called “Twitter killer” Takahiro Shiraishi, who was arrested last year after police discovered not one, not two, but nine bodies, some of them dismembered, in his suburban Tokyo flat. It seemed that Shiraishi and Baykratar took their “methods for luring potential victims” out of the same playbook.
27-year-old Takahiro Shiraishi, used the internet in much the same way as Yevgeniy Bayraktar, except that he found his victims on websites where they posted about suicide. In fact, it was the brother of a 23-year-old woman who disappeared in Hachioji, that led police to Shiraishi’s door in the first place when they found the chat logs of their conversation…
Of course, the police also received a number of complaints from Shiraishi’s neighbors who mentioned hearing unusual noises coming from his apartment. The same neighbor also complained that he smelt something odd, like raw sewage coming from the killer’s apartment. “It was something I never smelled before,” added the man.
When confronted with the evidence and once the police found the bodies in his apartment, Shiraishi came clean telling them, “It’s true that I tried to hide the bodies of the people I killed to destroy evidence,” Hopefully, Bayraktar will admit to his crime in a similar fashion in the coming weeks. That is, if he wants to maintain even a modicum of honor.