LA SERENA, Chile — Chilean prosecutors have given French authorities information about a Chilean man being sought for the alleged murder of a Japanese woman missing in France, a Chilean official said Friday, as French authorities combed a forested area for clues.
By relaying the information on the woman’s former boyfriend, who was earlier reported to be hiding in the central Chile city of La Serena after returning from France last month, Chilean prosecutors have ended their investigation for the time being.
The French side is now expected to analyze the information and decide whether to make a fresh call for the handover of the suspect, but no deadline has been set for such a move, the official said.
In France, local media reported Friday that authorities were continuing to search for evidence regarding where 21-year-old Narumi Kurosaki may have gone after disappearing from a university dorm in Besancon, eastern France, in early December.
The authorities believe that Kurosaki’s 26-year-old former boyfriend, Nicolas Zepeda Contreras, drove through a forested area in the suburbs of Besancon in a rented car to the Dole area about 40 kilometers to the southwest.
The authorities have been combing the forested area and divers have searched a canal near Dole. But snow and frozen waterways have stymied search efforts, according to the media.
Also Friday, visiting Japanese Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida called for France’s cooperation in solving the case during a meeting with his counterpart Jean-Marc Ayrault.
At a press briefing after the meeting, the French foreign minister said that Paris will brief Tokyo on developments in the investigation.
A junior at the University of Tsukuba in Ibaraki Prefecture, eastern Japan, Kurosaki was studying at the University of Franche-Comte in Besancon. Before her disappearance, she dined with the Chilean man and the two returned to her dorm afterward.
While no body has been found, French prosecutors have put the man on an international wanted list for murder and other charges. A French official has said prosecutors have evidence to believe she was murdered. (KYODO)