POLICE found nine dismembered corpses, including two severed heads, at an apartment near Tokyo. Online descriptions of the apartment building indicate it had a plastic-sealed "unit bath" and he allegedly dismembered the bodies there.
The authorities were initially led to Shiraishi's apartment while searching for a missing 23-year-old Tokyo woman who had posted on Twitter that she was "looking for someone who will die with me". Detectives are working to identify the victims amid fears she may be one of them.
"It's true that I tried to hide the bodies of the people I killed to destroy evidence", The Japan Times quoted the accused as saying to the police.
His first victim was another woman whom he got in touch with via Twitter, offering to assist her suicide wish, then killing her boyfriend to silence him, according to the media reports, including NHK public television.
Shiraishi admitted to murdering them and cutting up their bodies, the sources said. Police suspect one of the bodies may belong to the 23-year-old woman.
His neighbours said they had noticed foul smells coming from the apartment, which he moved into in August.
Although the police have so far charged Shiraishi only with "abandoning bodies", news reports on Tuesday described him as a serial killer who sought people who were thinking of killing themselves and who had expressed their dark thoughts on Twitter. The woman is believed to have met the man after writing on a suicide site on the internet that she wanted to kill herself.
Reports also claimed that the two were recorded by security cameras walking together outside of train stations near her apartment and the suspect's apartment.
Her brother contacted the police on October 24, saying she had been missing since October 21.
An investigation was launched after the woman's older brother reported her missing to the Takao Police Station in western Tokyo on October 24, saying he had not been able to contact her since October 21.