11-year-old girl missing in Okayama


Police in Kurashiki, Okayama Prefecture, are searching for a 11-year-old girl who disappeared while walking on her way home from school on Monday afternoon.

According to police, at around 4 p.m. on Monday, Sakura Moriyama called her mother to come and pick her up. However, her mother was at the hospital with Sakura's younger sister and unable to pick her up, so she started to walk the 2.5-km distance from the school to her home, Fuji TV reported.

Police said a witness reported seeing her talking with a man in his 30s or 40s about 150 meters from her home at around 5 p.m. That was the last time anyone heard from her and her whereabouts have been unknown ever since.

Moriyama's mother called her at around 5:30 p.m. There was no answer but the GPS system showed the phone was about 2 kms from her home. She then called police at around 6:30 p.m. to report that her daughter had not returned home.

Police said the GPS from Moriyama's phone was turned off later Monday night.

Moriyama is approximately 150 centimeters in height and has shoulder length hair. At the time of her disappearance, she was wearing a white polo shirt, a navy blue skirt, and carrying a pink backpack.

Anyone with any information is asked to call 086-426-0110.

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Parents must be distraught, my heart goes out to them. Really hope she's safe, but it looks like yet another despicable pervert has struck again. All convicted paedophiles should be locked up for life or castrated.

18 ( +18 / -0 )

This is why I won't let my daughter walk home alone. I know Japan is safe, but I'd much prefer her to wait at school until I can get her. My heart goes out to this girl and her family. It is my worst nightmare, and I feel for them deeply.

11 ( +12 / -1 )

you really do need to teach children to never talk to strangers. they should run away screaming if ever anyone ever approaches them.

most crimes are crimes of opportunity. if you better prepare yourself and your kids, there will be less opportunity for such tragic incidences.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Before we jump to any conclusions lets just hope she is ok.

6 ( +7 / -1 )

No, no, no. Come on. Find her. I have even now resorted to telling my children that even if asked the time, or directions or even an approached with an hello to ignore the interaction, keep moving and get home. A sad state of affairs.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Iam sorry to this sad news. I hope that she be safe and police find her soon, we ask god to protect her!

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Japantimes has quite a lot more critical info. Her phone's GPS indicated that she was headed in the opposite direction from her route she uses to go from school to her house... . Also, the phone may not be shut off... it may simply be out of range of where they are looking. I wonder if she simply got on the wrong bus?

0 ( +3 / -3 )

@Aaron: She was seen 150 meters from her home. She had no reason to get on a bus. She --as the vast majority of children do in Japan-- walks her route.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Nakasho Elementary School in Kurashiki. The Sanyo Main line runs by the school both ways. This article also contradicts Japantoday which has the info that her GPS on the cell phone indicated she was headed in the opposite direction. This article seems to assess that she was very close to her own home. Why not chase both ends of this?

2 ( +3 / -1 )

you really do need to teach children to never talk to strangers. they should run away screaming if ever anyone ever approaches them.

most crimes are crimes of opportunity. if you better prepare yourself and your kids, there will be less opportunity for such tragic incidences.

A couple of important caveats, children should not be taught not to talk to strangers, they should be taught how and when to talk to strangers. Most usually, if the child has a problem, e.g they're lost or their parent hasn't turned up when they should have, it might be necessary to talk to a stranger. Teaching them who to approach and how to talk to them might be vital. Basically, approach a woman. The chances of some random man being a pedophile are very small too, but a woman is comparatively much less likely to harm a child.

I also don't think crimes like this are a crime of opportunity. They have usually been planned or thought about to a great extent. They might seem random to the victim but in this case for example the predator could have been driving around for hours trying to find a suitable potential victim. Teaching kids a warning sign, like a car following them, could again be vital. Someone who offers them some chips when they're sitting next to them at the baseball with their parents with them probably isn't a threat.

If you talk to the right stranger you're going to avoid the wrong stranger.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

@UK9393 if Japantimes is correct about the GPS for the GPS to move that quickly she had to be on a train!

1 ( +2 / -1 )

She may have been abducted in a car. Whatever the case may be, I hope that she is found and is safe. Unfortunately, I fear that may not be the case.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Kids should be taught that they absolutely may not go anywhere with a stranger.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Kids should be taught that they absolutely may not go anywhere with a stranger.

They are already taught very much by school and parents and understand well they should not go with stranger. Maybe kid could not run from stranger.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

My heart goes out to the family ... I wish she return safe and the criminal should spend the rest of his life in prison

5 ( +5 / -0 )

She seems to be kidnapped by some paedophile. Hope I'm wrong...but I don't see any other versions.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

Police said the GPS from Moriyama’s phone was turned off later Monday night.

.. then go to the cellphone company you incompetent J-cops and IMMEDIATELY subpoena all records relating to that cellphone. What most people don't know is that your cellphone pings each cellphone tower it comes into range of, but most cellphone companies only keep this data for a short time (because there's a massive amount).

This data would allow them to triangulate and track the girl's cellphone to within a few meters. Along the route SOMEWHERE there will be a camera that will catch a picture of the man or his car or something useful.

Actually, subpoena EVERY cellphone record from EVERY company. Almost everyone has a cellphone, and chances are that this pedo had one too, and didn't think to turn it off. Find a cellphone that checked in several times with the same towers as the girl's and chances are you've got a damned good lead on who took her. His own cellphone could lead the police to him.

A girl's life is on the line here, and this is no time for the police to be timid. Under these circumstance I'd have no problem with the police accessing all the cellphone data if it bought that girl back alive, and to hell with privacy.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

God I hate news like this...I hope they find her soon.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

10,000 children go missing every year, it might be off topic but it's true. Why are/ is this not talked about?

2 ( +3 / -1 )

I hope there will be good news soon... please update as soon as you know something

2 ( +2 / -0 )

This is why I won't let my daughter walk home alone. I know Japan is safe, but I'd much prefer her to wait at school until I can get her.

If you thought Japan was actually safe, you would have no issues with allowing your daughter to walk home alone. Japan is obviously not safe for children or women if you are aware of the news and what happens.

It is worth adding that this family contacted the police in May/June about this child being followed. Police fail. If parents have complained, why was the community not aware and on the look out for strange people following kids home, more so this child? This also explains why this child called her mom to pick her up. This is clearly not a crime of opportunity but some sicko who was targeting this kid and perhaps others.

I hope she is found but based on the above, I think the chances are low that she will not be harmed if found. God help those poor parents and that poor child. Shame on the J cops for AGAIN failing the public after being contacted for help.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

I really wish the mother had taken just a minute to walk to an area where you can use a cell phone and called her back. I mean, what's the purpose of giving a kid a phone for safety reasons if you're not going to accept calls? I appreciate the fact that she was in the hospital with younger daughter, but again, take a minute! That's going to be on her the rest of her life. I pray that the girl is found safely, but with the way these things go...

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

Also teach your kids to watch for other kids talking to strangers! All it takes is a few words to "check things out"!

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

Smith, I am usually with you but that was a harsh comment. We have no idea what was going on at the time of the phone call. Sometimes you just can't take that minute. This poor women will have to live with this for the rest of her life. I think she's suffering enough.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

tmarie: She was in the hospital with her younger daughter, and so she couldn't take the call. That much we know. And nowhere do I blame the mom for this at all, I just said I wish, if she knew it was her daughter that called (I'm assuming she checked who was dialing before denying the call), that she would have said excuse me for a moment and taken a minute to call back and find out what her daughter wanted. If she could not pick the daughter up she could have suggested she wait or try going with friends. In any case, while what I said is harsh, it's nonetheless true -- the mother is going to never be able to forget she could not take the call or a minute to call back. I agree she's suffering, and that this whole thing is tragic.

As for the no talking to strangers, that of course should be taught more assertively by both school and parents. There's too much of this kind of thing happening.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

I didn't blame you nor did I accuse you of blaming the mother. You do question the purpose of the phone which I think is very unfair. Parents can't be expected to jump everytime a child calls and the mother DID take at least one call because she told her daughter to walk home.

Indeed, the mother IS going to suffer for the rest of her life - which is why I said I thought your comment was harsh.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

It doesn't say she didn't take the call. It says she couldn't pick her up. The Japanese press says the same thing. So, she must have talked to her and told her that which is probably why she walked home. What I don't understand is why didn't her mother call the police immediately when the GPS showed she was 2k from home! She waited another hour to call.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

They have located her! She is alive!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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