Three high school girls were confirmed among nine mutilated bodies found in an apartment in Zama, Kanagawa Prefecture, as police released the names of the previously unidentified eight victims early on Nov. 10.

Takahiro Shiraishi, 27, has admitted to killing and dismembering eight female and one male victims that included the high school girls, who were aged 15 and 17, and a young mother.

First-year high school student Kureha Ishihara, 15, from Gunma Prefecture, went missing on Aug. 28 after she left home on the morning of the first day of school after the summer holiday.

“She was quiet and earnest,” said a teacher who knew Ishihara at her junior high school. “She was doing fine academically.”

A 15-year-old female classmate of Ishihara at elementary and junior high schools said Ishihara was “the kind of person who would wait for someone to talk to her rather than talk first.” Ishihara was often seen reading books, and she also liked manga and playing video games.

Victim Natsumi Kubo, 17, a second-year high school student from Saitama city, was an enthusiastic member of her school choral club when she was at junior high.

A male former classmate of Kubo said: “She was an anime fan and quiet, but she proactively practiced hard for the choral club. I am truly sad that she got into this.”

Akari Suda, a 17-year-old third-year high school student from Fukushima city, stopped attending high school from Sept. 27, according to the principal.

She had loved drawing illustrations of anime and manga characters since childhood, and her dream was to become a manga artist, though she was planning to study at university.

“She was a cheerful and active girl,” Suda’s father, 62, said.

Hitomi Fujima, 26, from Kasukabe, Saitama Prefecture, was divorced with a small child, according to a 74-year-old manager at her former workplace.

“She was quiet and a nice girl,” he said. “It is really unforgivable.”

The other female victims named by Tokyo Metropolitan Police were second-year university student Hinako Sarashina, 19, from Tokorozawa, Saitama Prefecture; Kazumi Maruyama, 25, from Yokohama; Mizuki Miura, 21, from Atsugi, Kanagawa Prefecture; and Aiko Tamura, 23, from Tokyo’s Hachioji, who was the first victim to be identified on Nov. 6.

The male victim was named as Shogo Nishinaka, 20, from Yokosuka, Kanagawa Prefecture, who was the boyfriend of one of the female victims, according to Shiraishi.

Police have revealed that the suspect preyed on female victims who were expressing suicidal desires on social networking sites.

According to the police, Shiraishi has explained that he became “acquainted with most of (the nine victims) through Twitter.” He sent messages to women and girls who posted suicidal wishes on their Twitter accounts, suggesting they could “die together” and invited them to his home.

All of the victims had been reported missing to local police departments, and all were classified as “special missing persons” who were deemed likely to have been involved in crimes or accidents due to circumstantial evidence.

Two of the victims’ mobile phone positioning records disappeared without a trace near Shiraishi’s home only two days apart.

Police identified the bodies by narrowing a list of possible names of victims from bank cards found in the apartment and other evidence, and asking their family members to provide samples for DNA testing.

Police said Shiraishi has admitted to killing all nine victims after he moved into the apartment on Aug. 22, by "hanging them with ropes from the room’s loft." Ropes and a handsaw have been recovered from the site.

Shiraishi was quoted as saying that none of his victims “actually wanted to die.”