Father of missing 3-year-old Fukui boy says last month has been ‘like hell’


The father of a three-year-old boy who has been missing in Echizen, Fukui Prefecture, since Dec 9, told media on Tuesday that the last month has been like hell for his family.

“We strongly believe that wherever he is, Ren is safe and well and want him back with us as fast as possible. The last month has been like hell,” Ren’s father, Ryoji, told media, Fuji TV reported.

Police said they still have no leads on the fate of Ren Tanaka who disappeared from his father’s car a month ago.

Ren was last seen at around 2 p.m. on Saturday Dec 9, when his father, Ryoji, left him in the car in the parking lot of his office building. He was away from the car for about 10 minutes. When he came back, his son was gone.

Tanaka told police his son had been sitting in the front passenger seat with his seat belt fastened, but that he did not lock the car doors.

The area where the boy went missing is located near a river, and due to rain that day, the water level had risen.

Police believe he may have gotten out of the car and walked to the river where he fell in, but have also not ruled out the possibility that someone may have taken the boy from the car.

However, surrounding street security cameras show no footage of Ren walking in the area, either alone or with somebody.

In the month since Ren disappeared, more than 1,500 police and firefighters have searched the area where the car was parked, a nearby river and drains but no trace of the boy's whereabouts have turned up.

Ren is approximately 100 cm tall, of thin build, and was wearing a green hooded jumper at the time of his disappearance.

Anyone with any information that might help police is asked to call 0778-24-0110.

© Japan Today

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Something stinks!

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Could be someone has this kid. For whatever reason I don't want to contemplate. Hopefully they just felt lonely. Hoping that they just turn the kid loose in a public place, instead of fearing the outcome and taking the more serious option.

(Thanks Aly)

2 ( +2 / -0 )

My son is now 22 and I worry about him all the time. Can't help it.

Well said Ricky and Aly.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Ricky Kaminski

Excellent quote and I hear you. My son is almost 2 and a half. I cannot even fathom how this man can keep it together. Whatever you may all think of his parenting skills, have a heart. The man has suffered tremendously already, and if his son is never found, or is found dead, the suffering will be even worse.

2 ( +2 / -0 )


You don't know the kid is dead.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Why is Disillusioned getting thumbs down for thinking of the welfare and safety of children? Children, more so at the age of three, should never be left alone in a car. More so for ten minutes. More so in an unlocked car by a river. That doesn't mean anyone is blaming the dad for what happened, it's just calling for more common sense on child safety.

I hope they find the kid alive and well and feel sorry for the family, including the dad. Dad screwed up and if he has nothing to do with this, the guilt he has to live with must be horrific.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

So quick to judge everyone, how easy it must be. The poor fella was on TV last night pleading for any information. It was cold so he said to his son, just wait in the car. The rivers of which there are three big ones running through Fukui city were full and fast moving. So sad for this poor family, their heartbreak was evident. JT readers take a step back from the knee jerk reactions. Have a heart.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

There are two possibilities, his poor parenting decision resulted in the loss of his child, or his story isn't true

0 ( +4 / -4 )

Wow...many of you guys need to take a step back and not be so quick with the accusations. A small boy is missing and his father say's he is beside himself with worry. Why can't you (for now anyway) just accept his story...instead of blaming the guy for leaving the kid, and worse, claiming he had something to do with it.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

9 times out of ten (or more), the family did it. There is a very slim possibility that the 1,500 police didn't find the body in the river. If he was kidnapped, he would've been set up.... considering there is a street cam somewhere in the area that the police would've evaluated for anyone in the area. The last possibility is someone in the family played a role. Which now seems like the highest possibility since a body hasn't been found.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

The boy in Hokkaido was found so I have hope for Ren.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

I know a lot of speculation is pointing to the father. However, based on his story his hell is dealing with the guilt of being so irresponsible as to leave your kid in the car. NEVER leave your kids in cars! A car is for transport. It is not a mobile babysitter! It doesn't matter if it's 10 minutes or 10 seconds. It totally disgusts me every time I see kids eft in cars while mamma or papa runs off to do his or her thing. It is blatant neglect and there is no excuse for it at all!

1 ( +5 / -4 )

The story is too fishy. Do the police work also with the version that the father has made this all up?

6 ( +7 / -1 )

The fact that cctv cameras show no sign of this boy can only mean 3 possible scenarios: 1) The father did it, and this is his cover story; 2) Something supernatural happened which the cameras couldn't record; or 3) the cameras don't work well or have several blind spots. So which is it?

3 ( +8 / -5 )

Ren was last seen at around 2 p.m. on Saturday Dec 9, when his father, Ryoji, left him in the car in the parking lot of his office building.

That's his story and he's sticking to it.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

OMG. This is truly heartbreaking, with no leads or CCTV capture whatsoever.

It would drive me insane, if I was the father.

Shouldnt have left the kid in the car.. 10 minutes changed his life forever.

I pray for the boy's safety... but one month is too long.. its hard.

Hope we get more leads and news about this.

6 ( +7 / -1 )

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