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BC  

Body was inside suitcase

A high-profile murder case involving a former Vernon man linked to the death of a Japanese exchange student got off to a graphic start, Monday.

Natsumi Kogawa was found dead on the grounds of the Gabriola House mansion in Vancouver, on Sept. 28, 2016, two weeks after she was reported missing. The 30-year-old had moved to Vancouver to study English.

North Okanagan police arrested William Victor Schneider, 51, in Vernon, just hours after her body was discovered.

Schneider was arrested at a homeless camp in Polson Park and has been charged with second-degree murder and interfering with human remains.

Prosecutors told court on Monday that Kogawa’s naked body was discovered in a black suitcase that had been left in a hedge on the West End property.

Authorities were unable to determine a cause of death because Kogawa’s body was too badly decomposed, CTV reports.

Schneider pleaded not guilty to both counts on Monday.

Surveillance images of Schneider and Kogawa at Harbour Centre Mall on Sept. 8 were shown to jurors. 

Schneider told police where they could find Kogawa’s body, according to Crown counsel.

Schneider has a lengthy criminal record, including break and enter, assault with a weapon, and theft, and served four years in prison for armed robbery.

He is a former student of Clarence Fulton Secondary School in Vernon.

- with files from CTV Vancouver



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