Man in custody after DCU student's death


A MAN WAS being questioned by police in Japan about the death of a Dublin City University student in Tokyo.

Nicola Furlong (21), from Curracloe, Co Wexford, was found dead in a hotel room hours after attending a concert by the rapper Nicki Minaj. Investigating police have described the circumstances surrounding her death as suspicious.

Ms Furlong, a third-year international business student at DCU, was living in Japan while participating in a year-long study-abroad programme.

She had been due to return to Ireland in the coming weeks and had travelled to Tokyo for the night with friends.

Japanese state broadcaster NHK says she was studying at Takasaki City University of Economics, which is located in rural Gunma Prefecture, about an hour from Tokyo.

Ms Furlong is believed to have gone to Keio Plaza Hotel in Shinjuku, a business and shopping hub in central Tokyo, after midnight with the man who is being questioned by police, and another friend.

The unidentified man had been a guest at the hotel since Tuesday.

Staff at the hotel front desk took a call from the man at about 4am local time informing them Ms Furlong was ill.

“We called an ambulance and she was taken to hospital,” confirmed hotel spokeswoman Junko Saito.

Ms Furlong was declared dead about an hour later.

The man reportedly voluntarily went with the police and is being questioned by Shinjuku detectives.

The police have declined to officially comment on the details of the case.

The Irish Embassy in Tokyo said yesterday that it was in contact with Ms Furlong’s family via the Department of Foreign Affairs and was offering consular assistance.

“The death is still very much under investigation. In the meantime, the family has expressed their strong desire for privacy,” an embassy official said.

The Furlong family operates a bar and lounge in Curracloe.

A postmortem was carried out yesterday in Tokyo. Pending the results, Ms Furlong’s remains are expected to be flown back to Ireland next week.

Ms Furlong was due to return home to Ireland in the coming weeks to take up summer work before returning to DCU for the final year of her course.