Around noon today a USAF personnel (possibly name Sgt. Curtis Evan Eccleston, 30 yo) was found dead in his Chatan apartment with his throat cut by a knife. Police estimate he was killed sometime from last night to this morning. No suspect and no murder weapon have been found, yet. This is as of 23:07 tonight on Japanese internet news site.
UPDATE at 1:05am Monday. Here is the article in Stars & Strips, it looks like the military has provided less information than the Japanese press is reporting...? Hopefully the U.S. military has notified his next of kin by now, 12 hours later. STARS & STRIPES ARTICLE
This is a synopsis of the information (the level of accuracy is possibly low) for this crime that I have been able to piece together, mostly from Japanese news sites and blogs.
Because this was an offbase crime, the Japanese police are the lead investigators. Along with various members of the U.S. Military, a task force of 125 personnel has been assembled to work on this case. Typically, in serious crime cases, the Japanese police are notorious for leaking/providing some information. However, in this case, very little has been reported.
Police have announced that this is a murder case. Suicide has been ruled out (there was a previous case in Wakayama, Japan where a New Zealand man was cut in the neck and died, however, that has been ruled a suicide and that man had a history of cutting himself).
Curtis Eccleston was recently married, but his wife has told police that they separated just a few days before he was murdered, and that relations had worsened. There were some comments on news sites by people who said they were personal friends/coworkers with him, but none of them had mentioned he was married; they had only said he had a girlfriend. Thus, most of those people are not credible for information. Eccleston has a MySpace page with a photo of him and a girl, who is presumed to be his wife. However, various blog comments indicate that most Japanese say she looks Filipino and not Japanese. No name for this woman has been provided by the police. If this was a Japanese/Okinawan woman who recently married him, she would have had to register this at her city office. The press has not been able to locate this registry, leading some to deduce that she is a foreign national (such as Filipino).
The Eccleston Facebook page had been removed from the internet, but there is no notice of who requested the removal. The most recent Stars&Stripes article had published a grainy photo of Eccleston. This was a blownup portion of the photo that is on the Kadena Air Base official page. Due to his very short hair and possible balding and the poor photograph quality, some bloggers have pondered if he was a skinhead, thus a radical and trouble-maker (note: IMO this seems to be a very poor deduction by nasty bloggers?)
The local print media have reported these items: The neighbor downstairs reported banging noises from that 4th floor apt. similar to drawers slamming late at night. The police said there are no apparent signs of a struggle, however, many furniture drawers were left open and the room had a disheveled appearance. There was a partially eaten cookie and can of Coca-Cola nearby his body which were not disturbed. Other evidence appears to indicate a lack of struggle from the victim. They estimate the time of his death at around 4am on February 6. Eccleston is reported to have been 180cm tall and 100kg in weight. The military person who first visited the apartment around noon in Sunday reported that the door was unlocked, and he went in and found the body. Around midnight, Eccleston had spoken with/argued with some patrons of the izakaya next to the apartment building. Some witnesses said 2 people had followed Eccleston up to his apartment.
Police do report that there has been a lack of solid information, has been rough going, and have yet to identify suspects.
Due to his very short hair and possible balding and the poor photograph quality, some bloggers have pondered if he was a skinhead, thus a radical and trouble-maker (note: IMO this seems to be a very poor deduction by nasty bloggers?)
I've seen several photos on friends pages and he looks like a military person to me. But meh.
Okay, this is edging past ridiculous. He was a very likeable guy and if you ever had the chance to meet Ecc then you would be disgusted at the way that his name is being thrown around. There is a lot to this story and most will never know even the slightest bit of truth. There are A LOT of us on this island who are deeply hurt by his murder and all this speculation is just bullsh!t. He was Active Duty military, he was NOT a skin head, and his wife IS Japanese.