crime

Man arrested for kidnapping 11-year-old girl in Nara

39 Comments

Police said Sunday night they have arrested an unemployed 26-year-old man on suspicion of kidnapping an 11-year-old girl who disappeared from a recycled goods shopping center in Kashiba, Nara Prefecture, on Saturday afternoon

Police said that Kotone Morita was found with her wrists bound in the car of Masaru Ito in the town of Yamato Takada at around 9 p.m. Sunday, about 10 kilometers from the store where she was last seen, Fuji TV reported. Police said she was shaken but unharmed.

According to police, the girl had gone with her parents and elder sister to the recycled goods store on Saturday afternoon. At around 1:50 p.m., she told her parents she was going to the toilet. The store has a south wing and a north wing separated by a road. Kotone left the north wing to go to the toilet in the south wing.

Kotone's parents came looking for her when she didn't return and found her right sandal in the toilet.

Police quoted a store employee as saying he heard a scream coming from near the toilet at around 2 p.m.

On Sunday, police handed out flyers to pedestrians and motorists passing by the store which is located about 700 meters from Shizumi Station on the JR Wakayama line.

A witness said he saw a navy blue colored car parked nearby which left shortly after Kotone disappeared. That information led police to Ito's car.

Police said Ito had kept Kotone confined in the back seat of his car overnight Saturday.

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39 Comments
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Example of good police work and public vigilance - except for the dozo staff member who heared a scream but obviously did nothing.

34 ( +36 / -3 )

That's why you don't leave your children alone especially in a crowded mall. Trouble could and will happen in a minute. Always protect your family.

9 ( +12 / -3 )

This SHOULD serve as a wake up call for all parents here, but sadly it will only affect the parents where this girl was abducted, the rest will still have their heads in the sand and justify their inaction to "It could never happen here".

0 ( +9 / -9 )

This puppy should never be set free again, pump him with water brain melting medicine they call treatment, and let him spend his days in some institution.

6 ( +7 / -1 )

Great work by the police to track the mongrel down and apprehend him before worse was done. Give the store employee a kick up the *** too for ignoring what would have been a scream of terror.

6 ( +7 / -1 )

ebisenJul. 06, 2015 - 07:34AM JST This puppy should never be set free again, pump him with water brain melting medicine they call treatment, and let him spend his days in some institution.

Unfortunately , in this country this case is a minor offense and he will be free in few weeks to do it again and again ..

-5 ( +3 / -8 )

So glad she's okay...The perverted pond scum who kidnapped her needs to be castrated and put in prison.

11 ( +11 / -0 )

Give the store employee a kick up the *** too for ignoring what would have been a scream of terror.

Really. Where were his judgment and commom sense?

3 ( +6 / -3 )

Sadly under Japanese law the maximum penalty he'll get is between three and seven years in prison if there is no ransom or physical injury involved. (刑法224条 未成年者を略取し、又は誘拐した者は、3月以上7年以下の懲役に処する)

3 ( +5 / -2 )

Are all unemployed people in Japan criminals or mentally unstable in some way or fashion? This is ridiculous. Why is it, 9 times out of 10, an unemployed person commits a crime here? Jeez.

And, in light of CrazyJoe's statement, I find this extremely disturbing. I see this guy getting out of prison, and then doing this again.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

this would have almost certainly ended badly, alas the state of japanese law he'll only get charged with a minor crime.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

The judge should throw the book at this vermin and make an example out of him.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Just saw this in the news last night. I'm relieved to hear that she's safe and unharmed. Kudos to the police for acting quickly on that witness' tip. They talked to some people and they said that area was known for some shady people hanging around. I hope the store employee got a proper scolding for his/her lack of common sense. It could've turned out tragic.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

@FernGully

Why is it, 9 times out of 10, an unemployed person commits a crime here?

You just answered your own question... they've got nothing better to do...

It IS VERY scary... I know, I've never had the SAME experience but a guy "exposed" himself to me when I was about 10 years old...

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

@CrazyJoe -That's assuming that he doesn't get charged with additional attempted or inchoate crimes. It's very likely that he could be charged with attempted sexual offences (or even conspiracy to commit murder). It all depends on what conclusions the evidence supports. The police must be turning over his apartment and looking through his internet browsing history to find out what his intentions might have been.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Pfff what a relief for the parents that must be, can't imagine what they have gone through.

That's why you don't leave your children alone especially in a crowded mall. Trouble could and will happen in a minute. Always protect your family.

Easy to say, but you can't always be 100% on your guard. When people want to do bad things, they will find a way.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

At least the girl is safe but yeah, you don't expect stuff like this in Japan. 20 years ago it was rare. At least I think it was. Maybe reporting is better. Unemployment is certainly higher. You really have to hope civility isn't breaking down.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

@ khulifi "Unfortunately , in this country this case is a minor offense and he will be free in few weeks to do it again and again .."

What convicted kidnappers have received sentences of a few weeks? Is your comment actually based on any reality?

Very glad she was found relatively fast. Kudos to the police and cooperating members of the public.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Glad the girls is ok, i wonder if we find out what the guys intentions were

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

As many of have said - really, really rare, so I hope it doesn't freak out society where kids can't go anywhere. Just embed a GPS chip in their body and no problemo.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Glad the girls is ok, i wonder if we find out what the guys intentions were

I think he wanted to take her home and braid her hair.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

I'm not so sure if she's unharmed. Have you ever heard any article describing what was really done to a girl after abduction? Spell it out and a higher percentage of parents will not leave their little girls dressed in miniskirts wander off alone.

-1 ( +4 / -5 )

Police quoted a store employee as saying he heard a scream coming from near the toilet at around 2 p.m.

And that didn't raise any alarms? I mean, presumably, this information came to light after the police were brought in to help find this missing girl. So, what precisely did the story employee think was the significance of a scream coming from the restrooms in the middle of the afternoon?

I'm very, very glad that this girl was found relatively unscathed, but for Pete's sake, her trauma could have been considerably minimized, or prevented altogether if people weren't so damned head-down, not-my-problem when it comes to matters that don't directly concern them, including the abduction of an 11-year-old child in the middle of the afternoon preceded by a scream for help. This isn't an indictment of Japan, but of people in general. A society is only as safe and as strong as the people who choose to actively participate in it.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

BTW, for those parents concerned, I'm eyeing on this wrist watch (http://goo.gl/oSjtOK). Just have to wait a little bit longer until the mobile phone providers are opening up their SIM locks and extra SIM cards can be purchased individually.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

I usually slag the keystones as they deserve it, BUT this time they did GOOD, Nice work! Thx for getting this girl back quickly well done!

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Are all unemployed people in Japan criminals or mentally unstable in some way or fashion? This is ridiculous. Why is it, 9 times out of 10, an unemployed person commits a crime here? Jeez.

No but consider this, culturally speaking in some ways, when a person commits a crime it reflects on the company or business and that is in some ways could be seen as a deterrent to some crimes and criminals. They aren't just embarrassing themselves but the people they work for as well.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

He must be really sick because an 11 year old girl would drive me crazy in 10 minutes flat. Matter of fact it would be torcher to be confined with an 11 year old girl.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

FernGully JUL. 06, 2015 - 08:31AM JST Are all unemployed people in Japan criminals or mentally unstable in some way or fashion? This is ridiculous. Why is it, 9 times out of 10, an unemployed person commits a crime here? Jeez.

Well, in Japan if you're homeless, you have no chance of getting a job. Which means you have no chance of improving your situation. Without a job, you have no chance of starting a family and surrounding yourself with loving, supportive people who give you a reason for being. The whole basis for the government's tracking of society is by family registration, so if you're homeless, you may as well not exist. Without enrollment in national health insurance through your employer, you may have trouble getting into a hospital to get treatment for any mental health disorders you may have. Instead of having systems in your life to mitigate any psychological issues you have, instead you live under a blue tarp in the street under constantly stressful situations which exacerbate your psychological issues you may have. Really, is it any wonder that homeless would have higher mental health problems than the general population?

Péter Szilágyi JUL. 06, 2015 - 07:19AM JST That's why you don't leave your children alone especially in a crowded mall.

Really? Maybe we can compare the national number of kidnappings with the number of children left unattended in a crowded mall. That ratio plus the fact that people were on the ball enough to stop this guy before any physical harm was done suggests to me that statistically speaking, Japan remains a fairly safe place for unattended children in public.

Patric Spohn JUL. 06, 2015 - 11:00AM JST Spell it out and a higher percentage of parents will not leave their little girls dressed in miniskirts wander off alone.

Uh, that's really weird that you focused on the miniskirt and honestly more than a little creepy. It's not the miniskirt's fault she was abducted.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Spell it out and a higher percentage of parents will not leave their little girls dressed in miniskirts wander off alone.

But the parents think-"kawaii", when they dress them up this way.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

Wc626Jul. 06, 2015 - 01:47PM JST

Spell it out and a higher percentage of parents will not leave their little girls dressed in miniskirts wander off alone.

But the parents think-"kawaii", when they dress them up this way.

so it's the parent's fault for letting their daughter wear a miniskirt? what next, women who wear miniskirts deserve to get raped? you two are really ****ed in the head.

-3 ( +3 / -6 )

BTW she wasnt wearing a mini-skirt according to the news, they were culottes (sp?) which are trousers.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

For once, the local constabulary did a good job. Well done!

3 ( +3 / -0 )

@ferngully, some may really be unemployed but I do believe that some are employed thought non contributors to social security and neither pay into the kokumin nenkin hence to eliminate paper works and pointing fingers as to why the city hall neglected to collect taxes, it is easier to label them unemployed. The criminal has a car if ever it is his and he knows how to drive meaning he had the money for driving school and driving license. Just a strong hunch, I maybe wrong though.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

so it's the parent's fault for letting their daughter wear a miniskirt?

No. Not parents fault. Not poor little girl's fault either. Glad the cops got this creep. Now only if japan would quit glorifying the young teeny-bop culture, perhaps there'd be less creeps and chikans.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

He will do a scant amount of time, be "rehabilitated", then sent back into society under another name and address to hunt again. Meanwhile, innocent citizens somewhere out there will have not idea, thus be unable to take precautions to protect their children. Nice.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Kevin Lee Brooke

He won't get off as lightly as you think. He is not a minor. By the way, why do you think he would be sent back into society with another name?

1 ( +1 / -0 )

@Brainiac

I disagree with you about how long he will be incarcerated. I say it will be paltry at best.

Be that as it may, that was my mistake about him being sent back into society with another name. I believe that just goes for minors here. A law I whole-heartedly disagree with as well.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

@katsu78

No idea why you're going on about homelessness. Ito was unemployed but he wasn't homeless. He had both an apartment and a car. No idea how long he's been unemployed or how he paid his rent, whether he had savings or support from family members or income from illegitimate activities, but he wasn't homeless.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

The store employee heard a scream but didn't do anything about it.

People, if you hear someone scream, check it out. Things like this might be avoided then. Don't wait for the police to come by later asking you when you heard the scream.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

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