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A Peaceful Neighborhood Shattered

Murder Suspected in Death of Elderly Japanese Couple in Jimbaran, South Bali

(9/10/2017) A Japanese couple retired in Bali has been found dead in the burnt out rubble of their rented residence at Puri Gading, Jimbaran in South Bali.

Nurio Matsubasa (76) and his wife Hiroko Matsuba (70) were discovered on the second floor of their home on Monday, September 4, 2017, in a burnt out bedroom.

NusaBali said police suspect homicide in the death of the couple that gave Japanese speaking and writing lessons from their home. A preliminary forensic inspection revealed stab and heavy blows were inflicted on the couple in the course of their murder, with police theorizing that the home was set on fire to conceal the identity of the murderer or murderers.

The bodies of the couple were discovered by an Indonesian man, Abdul Salman (48), said to be considered an adopted son of the Japanese pensioners. Salman came to the house at 11:00 am to invite the couple to lunch when their two hand phones were not reachable.

When Salman arrived at the house the front gate was locked. When the man saw smoke flowing from the second-floor bedroom, Abdul raised the alarm, screaming for help from neighbors. Members of the local banjar and police quickly responded to the scene.

After police arrived at the house at 11:30 am, Abdul Salman broke down the front door to the house and then, in the company of police, found the Japanese couple's burnt corpses in their upstairs bedroom. The husband, Nurio Matsubasa, was found under the bed while his wife, Hiroko, was lying on the bed. Both bodies were badly burnt and the faces of the couple were no longer recognizable.

At the crime scene, police found the couple’s car with the doors and gas cover open.

Police theorize that whoever murdered the Japanese couple were individuals known to the victims.

Police are interviewing neighbors and possible witnesses, including Abdul Salman, a servant, driver and a close friend.

Police said evidence of several separate fires were found on both floors of the dwelling were found.

A neighbor told police of the presence of a man carrying a flashlight on Sunday, September 3, the night before the couple’s bodies were discovered.