Photo/IllutrationThe Nichii Home Saginomiya nursing home in Tokyo’s Nakano Ward whose former employee was arrested on Nov. 14 (Shoko Rikimaru)

The Metropolitan Police Department in Tokyo arrested a former employee of a nursing home on Nov. 14 on suspicion of killing an 83-year-old male resident there in August.

The suspect was identified as Hisashi Minakawa, 25, who worked at the Nichii Home Saginomiya in Tokyo’s Nakano Ward from 2014 to September 2017. He is currently working as a staff member of a different facility to support disabled people.

Minakawa has admitted to the suspicion against him, saying, “As the resident soiled his ‘futon’ mattress many times, I strangled him, thinking that I could not endure him.”

According to police, in the early morning on Aug. 22, Minakawa threw the resident, Kan Fujisawa, into an empty bathtub in a bathroom on the first floor after strangling him. Then, police said he filled the bathtub with hot water to kill him.

An autopsy found that the cause of Fujisawa’s death was drowning. In addition, marks found around his neck also showed that he was strangled.

Fujisawa had needed around-the-clock nursing care as he was suffering from an intractable disease.

When Fujisawa was found in the bathtub, only two staff members, including Minakawa, were working in the home. There was no evidence that showed the other staffer came down from another floor.

After he reportedly killed Fujisawa, Minakawa called for an ambulance through the other staff member at 4:47 a.m. on Aug. 22.

Initially, he said, “When Fujisawa was taking a bath, another resident summoned me (and I went to the resident). When I returned (to the bathroom), he had drowned.”

However, there were no records that showed that another resident had called Minakawa.

Police determined that Fujisawa's physical condition made the possibility that he had placed his face into the hot water by himself in the bathtub extremely low. In addition, the bones around his neck had been broken.

Because of those two circumstances, police treated the investigation as a murder case.