Police in Narita City, Chiba Prefecture, have arrested a 69-year-old man on suspicion of defamation of character after he posted libelous comments about the mother of a 7-year-old girl who went missing at a campsite in Doshimura, Yamanashi Prefecture, in September 2019.
According to police, Yukio Nogami, a self-professed investor, posted a video image of Tomoko Ogura on his blog in February, claiming that a crowd-funding campaign to help keep the search going for her missing daughter Misaki was a scam, Fuji TV reported. In May, Ogura filed a complaint with police, saying she had been the victim of malicious comments online.
Police said Nogami admitted posting the video and comments but denied they were libelous.
This is not the first time Ogura has been attacked online over Misaki’s disappearance. In August, police arrested a 31-year-old man from Shizuoka Prefecture for allegedly making an online threat to kill her. Katsuji Saitsu, a construction worker, posted multiple messages on Facebook from Oct 22 to Nov 16, 2019, in which he told Ogura, "I know you’re the culprit. Hurry up and turn yourself in. I'm going to kill you."
Ogura said that in addition to feeling distressed since Misaki's disappearance, she had been slandered by others on the internet and does not feel safe.
Misaki, from Narita City in Chiba Prefecture, had come to the campsite with her mother and group of about 30 family friends. She was last seen by her mother at about 3:40 p.m. on Sept 21, 2019, running by herself after a group of children in the woods.
A total of about 1,700 police officers, firefighters, and Self-Defense Force personnel were mobilized to locate her whereabouts.
Drones and tracker dogs were used and long grass was cut down. A stream that runs through the area was searched as well as a nearby dam. But no trace of Misaki has been found.
On Oct 6, 2019, the large-scale search was suspended by Yamanashi Prefectural Police.
Anyone with any information about Misaki is asked to call police at 0554-22-0110.© Japan Today