American teen arrested in death of Irish woman in Tokyo
Authorities in Japan are holding an American teen suspected of killing an Irish exchange student in Tokyo, a police spokesman said on Friday. A second American man was charged with groping the deceased Irish woman’s friend. According to the Tokyo Metropolitan Police, Nicola Furlong, 21, died in a hotel room in the presence of one of the men last month. Authorities in Japan declined to reveal the 19-year-old man’s identity because he is considered a minor under Japanese law, but he has been arrested under suspicion of murder.
James Blackston, a 23-year-old dancer from the Los Angeles area, has been charged with groping Furlong’s friend and could face up to 10 years in prison if convicted. Japanese media reported that Furlong and her friend met the two men at a Nicki Minaj concert in Tokyo and decided to accompany them to their hotel rooms. According to police, hotel staff entered the hotel room, after customers complained of loud noises, and found Furlong unconscious in the presence of the 19-year-old, and called the fire department. Police said they believe the death is a result of suffocation by cervical compression. Reverend Jim Fitzpatrick, Furlong’s parish priest, said their close-knit community of about 300 or 400 families was devastated by the news of her death. “When the death of a young person happens, everybody knows and is in some way involved or concerned,” Fitzpatrick said. “When it happens in tragic circumstances and so far away from home, it has a double impact on people.” Furlong’s parents last spoke to her the day she died.