Inside Late Marcos Matsunaga’s Family With 2 Wives and Daughter Helena

Marcos Matsunaga was a family man who got married two times. While his first wife remained unknown, the food brand entrepreneur’s second wife and the mother of his daughter, Helena was entirely different.

Elize Matsunaga – a professional surgical nurse who worked as an escort M.Class to fund her studies proved to be the type that craved a life of luxury. After she discovered her husband’s philandering ways, Elize snuffed the life out of him, opening a can of worms that engulfed the family. Following Elize’s plea of guilty to the murder and concealment of her husband’s corpse, she has been serving a 19-year-jail sentence while her daughter Helena Matsunaga grows up under the watch of her paternal grandparents.

Who is Marcos Matsunaga’s Second Wife, Elize?

Elize Matsunaga is a native of Chopinzinho in South Western, Paraná, Brazil. The exact date of birth for the Chopinzinho native has never been mentioned in the public arena but going by what we could sieve from existing records, she is a child of the 70s, born in 1974.

Marcos Matsunaga
image source

Closer scrutiny of her family background revealed that the widow of Marcos Matsunaga came from an impoverished background. Media sources say she had an absentee father who left the family to survive on their own when Elize just clocked three. Following the exit of her dad, Elize’s mum took the young lady to go live with her grandmother.

Sources also revealed that it was her grandma and aunt who then shouldered the responsibility for her upbringing. The then little Elize would always entertain dreams of living a life of luxury but her mum advised her that anybody who is craving a luxurious life must not just study hard, but must also work hard.

Even with all her good advice to Elize, her mum didn’t have the wherewithal to see her through higher education, leading the lady to go find work as an escort in São Paulo. There, she was simply identified as Kelly. Her work as an escort, M.Class paid well and she was able to pay for tuition to nursing school and also pay rent. Elize became a qualified surgical nurse after her studies, though it is not stated whether she ever worked as one.

Who Was Marcos Matsunaga’s First Wife?

Marcos Matsunaga only became an object of public interest after he was murdered in cold blood by his second wife Elize Matsunaga. Thus, his life before he met Elize has remained obscure. Consequently, there is nothing that can be said about his first marriage. Even the woman’s name has never been mentioned and no one seems to know the details of their union.

What Happened to Elize Matsunaga’s Husband?

After Elize Matsunaga went to spend three days with her sick grandma in Chopinzinho, she was picked up by her husband, Marcos Matsunaga on the 19th of May 2012.

Security footage from their luxurious apartment in Sao Paulo showed the family arriving alongside their baby’s nanny and Marcos was obviously in a bad mood. He was observed kicking at the elevator on his way to pick up a pizza.

The next interesting footage from the cameras showed the mother of one emerging from their home the next morning carrying three suitcases which were later discovered to contain the remains of Marcos Matsunaga whom she had butchered the previous night.

While what happened between husband and wife that evening remained a mystery for some time, it later came to the fore that Elize used a gun from the house (the gun was kept for protection against kidnappers) in killing Marcus whom she shot multiple times.

In her confession, the Chopinzinho native admitted that she carried out the gruesome deed in their guest room where she proceeded to cut the body of her husband into seven parts – these included the man’s head and arms.

After she stuffed the dissected portions of his remains into garbage bags, the former surgical nurse divided them into three and placed them inside three suitcases. She then used disinfectant in cleaning up the mess to remove all traces of the crime. The suitcases were later found scattered across the roadside about 20 miles outside of Sao Paulo – however, some body parts were never found to date.

Marcos Matsunaga’s Wife Claimed he Ran Off with a Mistress

When it downed on the Matsunaga family that their son Marcos Matsunaga was actually missing, Elize tried to reduce their worries by telling them that their son fled from home bearing cash and a bag of clothes.

According to the wife of the deceased, he eloped with one of his lovers, and to further buttress her points, Elize showed them a video she got from her private detective showing Marcus kissing an unidentified woman.

The authorities in Sao Paulo started serious investigations on the case and the murder was already nine days old when the police assigned to work on it discovered the businessman’s head in a suitcase. They later discovered other body parts through which the Matsunaga family identified the dismembered body of their missing son. This gruesome discovery was what helped in unraveling the mystery behind Marcos’ disappearance.

Needless to say, Elize who was the closest person to Marcos was put under investigation and soon, phone records placed the mother of one at the location where they discovered her husband’s remains. This led to her arrest on the 4th of June and the beginning of the trial into the murder case.

Elize Matsunaga’s Murder Case

Marcos Matsunaga
Elize in court pleading guilty to the murder of her husband image source

Given the personality of the victim, the ensuing trial turned out to be a high-profile court case and before long, it became a national scandal in all Brazil. Starting on the 28th of November, the hearings saw Elize confess to the murder of her husband, Marcos Matsunaga. Claiming that the duo argued extensively before the gruesome murder, the former surgical nurse cited unfaithfulness physical and sexual abuse, and mental maltreatment on Marcos’ part as justification for the murder.

However, the prosecution for the case argued that the murder was premeditated and that Elize shot Marcos without any forewarning. Even forensic reports from the autopsy recorded that the deceased was still breathing when his throat was slit.

In her statement, Elize said she honestly didn’t have any idea about the emotions that triggered her to commit the murder.

Elize Came Off With A 19-Year Jail Sentence

The case which commenced on November 28 was wrapped up on the 5th of December, 2016, and Elize who pleaded guilty as charged (to the killing of Marcos Matsunaga and the concealment of his corpse) received a 19-year jail sentence. Reports say she is currently serving in Tremembe – one of the municipalities in São Paulo, Brazil.

On the right person to get custody of her daughter who was barely one year old then, Marcos Matsunaga’s widow wanted her own family to take charge of raising the little girl but the Matsunaga family begged to differ. Her late spouse’s parents demanded that a DNA test be conducted and upon knowing that Elize was previously employed as an escort, they demanded the custody of their granddaughter.

The little girl has been growing up under the watch of her paternal grandparents. It’s been years since the last time Elize saw her daughter and since she has been serving her sentence, no one has bothered to take the girl to meet her.

We must not forget to mention that Marcos Kitano Matsunaga’s murder which shocked the whole of Brazil triggered the production of a crime docuseries entitled, Elize Matsunaga: Once Upon A Crime. The docuseries with the original title Elize Matsunaga: Era Uma Vez Um Crime started airing on the 8th of July 2021 and is showing on Netflix.

How Marcos Matsunaga and Elize Matsunaga Met

When Elize Matsunaga from a humble background crossed paths with wealthy Marcos Kitano Matsunaga, her story was quickly likened to that of Cinderella, though that particular fairytale soon became her worst nightmare.

According to reports from online sources, Marcos Matsunaga who was the heir to the popular food brand, Yoki (the brainchild of his grandfather, Yoshizo Kitano) was still in his first marriage when he met Elize on a site for escorts called M.Class.

On one of his visits to the escort site (he frequented the sites to enjoy their services), Marcos saw Elize advertised as a blonde bombshell on their website. The beautiful blonde struck the businessman’s desire which led him to hire Elize’s services on a permanent basis.

The Chief Executive Officer of the Yoki brand soon started cohabiting with the blonde bombshell and the duo stayed together for three long years until he finalized divorce proceedings with his first wife. Piaui, the popular Brazilian magazine reported that the house in which Marcus and Elize lived was an eccentric one filled with the CEO’s hunt conquests, including his pet boa constrictor called Gigi.

Marcos Matsunaga’s Marriage To Second Wife Elize

With his first marriage out of the way, the road was clear for Marcos Matsunaga to tie the nuptials with his love interest Elize, and the Brazilian entrepreneur wasted no time in doing just that. However, we were not intimated with the details of their wedding, reports just stated that the duo exchanged wedding vows at an Anglican Church – important details like venue, date, and guest list were not mentioned.

Many likened getting married to Marcus to winning the jackpot for Elize who always wanted to live a life of luxury since her childhood. During the early days of their union, the former surgical nurse was blissfully happy, living the life of a princess. Marcus was always on hand to fund her luxurious lifestyle and she was just living the dream.

While their euphoria lasted, the duo was severally spotted visiting different places. They would often go on hunting as that was one of Marcos’ hobbies. Besides, Elize proved to be a good shooter and was just the perfect mate for the businessman. They often share photos of their travels and hunts with fans on social media platforms and their union had the semblance of marital bliss until trouble reared its ugly head up.

Elize Matsunaga’s Life After Wedding Marcos Matsunaga

According to Elize, their idyllic life was shattered after she discovered that her new husband was already unfaithful and was exchanging messages with a secret girlfriend. This discovery led her to take the decision to file for a divorce but was halted after finding out that their first child was already on the way.

Marcos Matsunaga’s wife then decided to confront him for his infidelity; faced with his clandestine affairs, the Brazilian businessman knelt down with tears in his eyes, apologizing that such won’t happen again. However, Marcos’ tears didn’t stop their relationship from deteriorating further.

After their daughter Helena was born, the Yoki brand CEO grew tired of Elize’s mood swings; he even claimed she was too lucky to have both maid and nanny waiting on her. Marcos’ outburst triggered the suspicion that he had gone back to his cheating ways and after she hired a private eye to follow him around, Elize’s effort was rewarded. Marcus was caught red-handed at one of the local restaurants with another lady.

By this time, Elize had finally had it with her husband and decided to go ahead and call it quits with him regardless of the ensuing consequences. When confronted, Marcos told Elize that she will not be able to find another man; someone of her reputation wouldn’t attract a prince, the Yoki CEO said.

Marcos then threatened to take Helena away if Elize should go ahead with the divorce and she may never see the little girl again. This threat was a prelude to the violent quarrel that ensued between the couple. The mother of one said she remembered being slapped in the face but this was promptly denied by Marcos Matsunaga, putting his wife in the guilty position.

What is Elize Matsunaga’s Daughter’s Name?

Elize and Marcos Matsunaga’s daughter was named Helena Matsunaga at birth. Her exact date of birth has never been stated but according to reports, Marcos Matsunaga’s only child with Elize was born in 2011. The girl who is fast approaching her teens is said to be the only reason Elize agreed to confess to the murder of her husband.

Talking about the troubled times she passed through in her marriage, the mother of one admitted that there was a time when she actually contemplated taking Helena and running away from the misery her marriage has become. However, after having deep thoughts about the innocent girl’s safety, she took the decision to stay on even though the relationship became overly abusive and unbearable.

Where Is Helena Matsunaga Now?

After Elize was forced to relinquish all rights to her daughter, custody of the then one-year-old was awarded to her paternal grandparents and that is where she has been. Reports say the girl is in good hands as she is growing up in what they described as a happy and safe environment. Marcos’ family is said to be taking good care of the girl but facts about her are not allowed to filter into the public space for security reasons.

Though Helena’s guardians have managed to tell the little girl the story of her parents in 2017, she is yet to meet her mother who is still serving her 19-year-jail-term.

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