NARA (Kyodo) A 16-year-old boy was arrested Thursday on suspicion of arson and murder in connection with a fire at his Nara Prefecture home in which his mother, brother and sister were killed, police said.
The boy, whose identity has been withheld because he is a minor, admitted he started the fire at the bottom of the stairs in his house with the intention of killing his mom and siblings, who were home and whose bodies bore knife wounds, investigative sources said.
Police said the boy indicated he had felt pressure from his father over his performance at school, noting the boy said he has done an irrecoverable thing and feels "really sorry."
The high school sophomore had been missing since the fire broke out early Tuesday in the two-story wooden house in Tawaramoto, central Nara. He was found by police and taken into custody in Kyoto Thursday morning. He had no money, identification or mobile phone in his possession.
Police said the boy broke into the home of a 60-year-old woman in Kyoto around 7:45 a.m. and was watching TV in the living room when she found him.
The boy fled on a bicycle and was apprehended by police who had responded to a call from the woman.
"I wanted to watch (the World Cup) soccer matches . . . I was hungry," police quoted the boy as saying.
Police began questioning him at around 11:30 a.m. He admitted setting the fire, knowing his father was away that day, the investigative sources said.
Although his mother, Dr. Minka Yoshikawa, 38, brother, Yoshiki, 7, and sister, Yumin, 5, died of carbon monoxide poisoning, their bodies bore knife wounds, police said.
The boy's 47-year-old father, Motoyoshi, also a doctor, was working on a night shift at a hospital in neighboring Mie Prefecture at the time of the fire, police said.