TOKYO >> Japanese police say a U.S. military contractor, in custody for allegedly abandoning the body of a young woman on Okinawa, is now the prime suspect in the murder and rape of the 20-year-old.
The case has sparked outrage on the island in southern Japan, where residents have long complained about a heavy U.S. military presence and crime linked to them. The weekend arrest of a U.S. sailor for allegedly drunken driving has added to the anger.
Police said Thursday that Kenneth Shinzato, also a former Marine, is now formally a prime suspect in the murder and rape of the woman, whose body was found last month, three weeks after she disappeared.
Police arrested Shinzato in mid-May, and he is expected to be formally charged later Thursday with abandonment.