Kevin Winter/Getty Images
Kevin Winter/Getty Images
Headlines don't get much grimmer.
A 23-year-old dancer whose Facebook page says he has been in videos for Jennifer Lopez, Chris Brown and the Black Eyed Peas and an unidentified teenage male—both Americans—have been arrested in Tokyo following the death of Nicola Furlong, a 19-year-old exchange student from Ireland.
She and a friend had attended Nicki Minaj's show at Zepp Toyko last Wednesday night (local time) and her body was found early Thursday morning in a room at the nearby Keio Plaza hotel, police told the Japan Times.
"We are aware of the arrests of these two U.S. citizens in Japan and are providing consular assistance," a U.S. State Department spokesperson confirmed Wednesday to E! News. "Due to privacy considerations we cannot provide any additional information and for questions about the investigation we would refer you to the Japanese authorities."
Police said that there was evidence of sexual assault and marks on Furlong's neck indicated she was strangled.
James Jamari Blackston, the dancer, and a 19-year-old male who has been referred to as a musician, were reportedly both in the suite where Furlong was found unconscious at around 3:20 a.m. A hotel staffer came to the room after receiving a complaint about loud noises and, per authorities, found the teen in the room with Furlong, while Blackston was in another room with the victim's friend.
The Japan Times says that the men have been charged with the alleged sexual assault of Furlong's 21-year-old friend (whose name has not been released) and are being questioned about the death.
"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," the Tokyo Metropolitan Police told Ireland's Independent newspaper. "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."
Furlong, a student at Dublin City University, was enrolled in a one-year exchange program at Takasaki City University of Economics, about 60 miles northwest of Tokyo. She was due back home in July.
The Independent reports that Blackston and his friend had denied getting into a cab with the girls, but that closed-circuit TV footage showed otherwise.
"We are devastated by the loss of our beautiful daughter/sister Nicola in such tragic circumstances," Furlong's family said in a statement. "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."