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Body discovered in suitcase at Japan train station

The corpse of an elderly woman has been found inside an abandoned suitcase in one of Japan's busiest train stations. Police are working to establish the woman's identity.

The decomposing body folded into a suitcase went unnoticed for a month, Japanese police said on Monday, after someone left it in a public storage locker at Tokyo Station in late April. The suitcase, measuring about 70 by 50 by 25 centimeters (about 28 by 20 by 10 inches) was later transferred to the left-luggage storage room and after a month went by without anyone collecting it, it was opened by the baggage storage company.

"There was an abnormal odor when we opened the suitcase," a spokesman told reporters. "Then we saw hair."

Police said the corpse belonged to a woman who was about 140 centimeters (4 feet 7 inches) tall and estimated to have been between 70 and 90 years old.

Japanese newspaper Sponichi reported that no one working in the office next to the baggage storage area had noticed any unpleasant smells. A spokesman for the regional train company JR East, Junichi Omoto, also said there was nothing unusual observed about the suitcase.

"We were surprised and horrified," he said.

Police were investigating to try and find out who the woman was, as well as her cause of death and who left her body at the station, scanning security camera footage.

Tokyo Station is one of Japan's busiest, handling roughly 150 million passengers per year, according to JR East.

se/msh (AP, AFP)

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