It was a story that made international headlines: the death of missing Japanese student Natsumi Kogawa.
Now, just a little over two and a half months after her body was found on the grounds of a historic mansion in Vancouver’s west end, one of Natsumi’s dearest friends is speaking out.
In a Global News exclusive, Jay Vergara says he can’t believe his closest friend is gone.
“I miss how every time she would come into a room, everyone would brighten up, you know. It was her biggest goal, a culmination, to come here and to study.”
Vergara met Natsumi last May, when she arrived in Vancouver from Japan, after saving up to study English.
“She was the kindest, most energetic, the hardest working person that I’ve ever met. For the family right now, their most important treasure is memories of Natsumi.”
Vergara reported Natsumi missing in September.
“I couldn’t just leave it to anyone else. I couldn’t believe it, it doesn’t feel real. It doesn’t feel real right now. I felt a lot of anger, and I fantasize about going back in time and seeing if there is anything I can do differently.”
Three weeks later, her body was found at Vancouver’s Gabriola mansion.
Forty-eight-year-old William Victor Schneider was arrested within hours of finding Natsumi’s body and was charged with indignity to a human body.