"When we found her, blood covered everything above her chin"

Investigators found no sign of people entering or leaving the house at the time of the suspected attack, the private network NTV said.

They then realised that Matsumoto’s wounds looked like cat scratches, it added.

Police turned their attention to the stray cats loitering around Matsumoto’s house, and found traces of what may be human blood on one of them, the Nishinippon Shimbun newspaper said Friday.