Police Confirm Identity of Infant Believed Murdered by Cult
Sep. 21, 1995
TOKYO (AP) _ Human remains found recently are those of an infant who is believed to have been killed, along with his parents, by the Aum Shinri Kyo doomsday cult, police confirmed Thursday.
Tatsuhiko Sakamoto, age 1, allegedly was murdered in 1989 with his mother, Satoko, and father, Tsutsumi, a lawyer who was fighting the cult in court.
Leaders of the cult have been charged with murder in connection with the nerve gas attack on Tokyo's subways that killed 12 people and sickened 5,500 others last March.
The recovery of the remains from a muddy, rocky grave in a secluded marsh in central Japan capped a five-day search that captivated the country.
Police said the child's identity was confirmed through a comparison of his DNA with that of his mother.
Five of the several dozen cult members now under arrest are suspected of planning and carrying out the killing, in which police say the murderers broke into the Sakamotos' home, drugged, abducted and killed them.
Police have served cult leader Shoko Asahara, already charged with murder in the release of sarin nerve gas into Tokyo's subways, with a new arrest warrant in the lawyer's death. Serving a warrant to a suspect already in custody is a step toward filing formal charges.
Cult members also are suspected in other killings and crimes, including preparing a military arsenal for attacks on the government to create the Armageddon predicted by Asahara.