A 27-year-old man has been taken into custody by police after dismembered body parts of nine people were found inside an apartment located on the outskirts of Tokyo. Two heads were kept inside the freezer when authorities raided the residential facility.

Police say the bodies belong to eight women and a man, while identification of the victims is yet to take place. Body parts of some victims were kept in picnic coolers. They suspect Takahiro Shiraishi, who is now detained, was involved in the killings and disposing of the remains.

Officials found the bodies in the apartment in Zama, Kanagawa Prefecture — located southwest of Tokyo — on Monday, 30 October, when they were investigating the disappearance of a 23-year-old woman.

The woman has been missing since 24 October and posted on Twitter before vanishing that she is "looking for someone who will commit suicide with me". Police accessed CCTV footage showing Shiraishi was walking along with the woman after they reportedly connected through the internet.

The victim was from Hachioji, located 21km from the suspect's apartment.

"There's been a nasty smell coming from that apartment. I first noticed it back in August," a neighbour told the state broadcaster NHK indicating the deaths could have taken place over a period of time.

Japan apartment deaths
Members of the media gather in front of an apartment building where media reported nine bodies were found in Zama, Kanagawa Prefecture, Japan Kyodo via Reuters