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Arrest Made in Murder of Japanese Tourist

West Java Man Arrested in Malang in Connection with Death of 33-Year-Old Japanese Woman in Kuta.

(10/3/2009) After a massive nationwide manhunt lasting one week, Bali police have arrested a man suspected of murdering a 33-year-old Japanese female Rika Sano.

Sano's decomposing and battered remains were found on Monday, September 28, 2009, in an empty field on Jalan Mertanadi in Kuta, near the Oleh Oleh Kampoeng Bali store.

The man arrested for the murder, identified by police as David Goltar Wicaksono, was apprehended at a hideaway in Malang, East Java. Police traced the crime to the 26-year-old man, a native of Bandung, West Java, via a MP4 player found at the same location of the dead woman's body. Authorities say the electronic device was owned by the accused and purportedly dropped in a struggle with the Japanese woman. With the help of the cyber-crime unit a picture of the man was found that matched descriptions provided by witnesses of a man with whom Sano left her Kuta hotel.

The information initially led police to a local boarding house in the Pemogan sub-district of Denpasar where the landlord confirmed that Wicaksono had not been seen for several days. Similar efforts to trace the man to his place of employment, a cigarette distributor in Denpasar, were unsuccessful. Based on leads received at his place of residence and employment, police eventually located the man in Malang.

Wicaksono has been flown back to Bali under police escort.

The Crime

The ill-fated Rika Sano was reported missing by her traveling companion, Mayumi Someya, on Friday, September 25, 2009. Sano's body was discovered in tall grass at the vacant lot in Kuta three days later with indications that she had been brutalized and raped prior to her death.

Sano was last seen on the Friday, leaving her hotel with a man, now believed to be Wicaksono, who told hotel staff that he was a plain-clothes officer assigned to the Bali Police.