News / Vancouver

Missing Japanese student found dead in Vancouver

Japanese ESL student Natsumi Kogawa was found dead in Vancouver and a 48-year-old man has been arrested in connection to the case, Vancouver police say.

Missing Japanese student Natsumi Kogawa has been found dead in Vancouver.

Contributed/Vancouver Police Department

Missing Japanese student Natsumi Kogawa has been found dead in Vancouver.

The search for missing Japanese student Natsumi Kogawa has come to a tragic end in Vancouver.

Kogawa, a 30-year-old ESL student studying in B.C., was reported missing by her boyfriend on Sept. 12 and has been the subject of a high-profile Burnaby RCMP missing person investigation since then.

Vancouver police announced on Friday that Kogawa’s body was found on the evening of Sept. 28 at the grounds of Vancouver’s Davie Street mansion (1523 Davie St.) and a 48-year-old man was arrested in Vernon, B.C., in connection to her death later that night.

VPD spokesperson Const. Brian Montague confirmed the suspect, identified as William Victor Schneider, is the man pictured with Kogawa in surveillance footage released earlier this week by Burnaby RCMP, where she was last seen on Sept. 8.

Surveillance footage released by Burnaby RCMP showing missing Japanese student Natsumi Kogawa with a person of interest in downtown Vancouver on Sept. 8, 2016.

Contributed/Brunaby RCMP

Surveillance footage released by Burnaby RCMP showing missing Japanese student Natsumi Kogawa with a person of interest in downtown Vancouver on Sept. 8, 2016.

Schneider has been charged with indignity to a human body and remains in custody while the investigation continues.

Montague said police are looking at possible homicide charges but are waiting for the result of an autopsy.

Kogawa’s family in Japan has been notified about her death, police say.

The Davie Street mansion grounds where Japanese student Natsumi Kogawa's body was found by Vancouver police.

Jen St. Denis/Metro

The Davie Street mansion grounds where Japanese student Natsumi Kogawa's body was found by Vancouver police.

Montague told media a publication ban prevents police from sharing more details about the case.

“We’re now actively investigating Ms. Kogawa’s death,” said Montague. “Within just a few hours of finding Ms. Kagawa, police had a suspect in custody and there was no concern for public safety. Our primary focus is the investigation, something we do not want to jeopardize.”

B.C. RCMP spokesperson Sgt. Annie Linteau said Schneider has no fixed address.

Police would not say what relationship, if any, Kogawa had with Schneider.

The initial charges against the suspect were approved Thursday.

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