In a terrible ending to a budding young life, two male blacks who are U.S. citizens have been arrested by Japanese police in connection with the death of Wexford student Nicola Furlong at a hotel in Tokyo and have been charged with sexually assaulting her companion.
A 21-year-old Irish girl from Curracloe in Co Wexford, was killed after she and a friend went to see a concert by rapper Nicki Minaj in Tokyo on Wednesday night.
Her family say they are “devastated by the loss of their beautiful daughter and sister.”
Reports suggest Ms Furlong and another woman from Wexford missed their train after attending the concert and so went for drinks and a meal with two men they had met.
The group later took a taxi and while police in Tokyo continue to investigate what happened, Ms Furlong was found on the floor of a room at the Keio Plaza in the early hours of Thursday morning by a hotel employee. She was later pronounced dead.
A 26-year-old named James Blackston and an unnamed 19-year-old, both from the US, were arrested. They are still being questioned by Tokyo police.
King Tight’s Twitter @kingtightbucc20 is no longer working and his profile on MySpace could not be viewed today.
Nicola Furlong reportedly died from cervical compression, known as strangulation. She was found unconscious in the hotel room of the 19 year old musician, identified as Larry Perry by some media outlets.
Arrangements were being made today to repatriate Nicola’s body and her family, from Curracloe, Co Wexford, have asked for privacy in their grief. Her body is expected to arrive home on Thursday.
The 21-year-old is likely to be laid to rest in her native Curracloe over the weekend, although details have yet to be confirmed.
Ms Furlong was found on the floor of a hotel room in Tokyo early last Thursday. She and her friend had attended rapper Nicki Minaj’s concert last Wednesday night and met the two accused men afterwards.
CCTV footage captured them getting into a taxi before returning to the Keio Plaza Hotel in the Shinjuku district of the city.
Blackston and Perry have been charged with ‘quasi forcible indecency’ in relation to their treatment of Ms Furlong’s friend in the taxi on the way back to the hotel, during which time she was allegedly groped by the men.
It is believed the investigation is now focusing on whether they had spiked the girls’ drinks or plied them with strong alcohol.
Tokyo police released information in relation to the charge yesterday.
“These two men allegedly took advantage of a female unable to resist due to the fact she was in a comatose state from a highly alcoholic beverage,” a spokesperson said.
“On a taxi ride between Shibuya and Shinjuku, they took advantage of a woman by touching her body.
“As that is an indecent act, they have been charged with quasi forcible indecency.”
This is understood to be a holding charge used by police to retain the men in custody while the young student’s death is thoroughly probed.
The second girl — who has not been identified — is still in Japan and family members have flown out to comfort her.
Her family said Nicola was a “warm, generous, stunning person who always had time for her family and other people.”
“Nicola will always be at the centre of our lives. She stood for everything that is good in life.”
Ms Furlong had been in Japan as an exchange student from Dublin City University.
She had been studying at the Takasaki City University of Economics in Takasaki, Gunma Prefecture, northwest of Tokyo.
In a statement on Friday, Dublin City University said that “the staff and students of DCU were saddened to learn of the death of one of their students while studying abroad in Japan.
“We extend our deepest sympathies to the family, classmates and friends at this very distressing time.”
Ms Furlong had been due to return home in July.