A man has been arrested for throwing away his brother's skull and jawbone in the trash after wrongly assuming they were replicas in Kita Ward, Tokyo, Japan.

Shoichi Murai, 68, has been taken in custody by the Tokyo Metropolitan Police on charges of illegal disposal of human remains after he allegedly dumped his brother's skull and jaw bones in the trash for recycling collection after assuming they were just replicas, Japan Today reported.

The incident came to light after workers at a recycling plant in Adachi Ward, Tokyo found a human skull and a jaw bone in the refuse that had arrived on June 21. Since the bags to the recycling plant came from houses and businesses all over Tokyo, it was difficult for the officers to figure out to who the bones belonged.

However, in the trash bag that contained the human skull, the officers also discovered a bank card with Hideo Murai's name written on it. With this evidence, along with confirmation obtained from checking dental records, the officers confirmed that the bones belonged to 67-year-old Hideo Murai of Kita Ward.

Following the discovery, the Tokyo Metropolitan Police launched an investigation into the matter and arrested the deceased’s older brother, 68-year-old Shoichi Murai, on charges of illegal disposal of human remains on June 29.

The brothers reportedly lived in the same house in Kita, with Shoichi living on the first floor and Hideo living on the second.

However, when questioned about the bones, Shoichi denied the charges and claimed that he hadn't spoken to his brother since March 2017 and believed that he was hospitalized somewhere. He added that he found the skull and the bones in his brother’s room while he was cleaning the house in order to sell it. However, he said that he threw them out in the trash assuming they were replicas.

Following this, when the officers searched Hideo’s residence, they found the rest of the brother's skeletonized body lying on a bed. The autopsy report revealed that at least several months had passed since his death.

Murai was confirmed to have been alive in 2017 when Shoichi claims to have last interacted with him.

The authorities are looking into a possible cause of death. However, autopsy reports so far say that there are no signs of violence.

A pet owner who was searching for her lost dog in the woods reportedly recently ended up finding the skeletal remains of a woman missing since 2017 in Youngstown, Ohio. This is a representational image. Pixabay

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