Police in Machida, Tokyo, on Friday arrested a 30-year-old man on charges of kidnapping and confining an 11-year-old girl who went missing from her home in Sagamihara, Kanagawa Prefecture, before turning up safe four days later at a koban (police box) 20 kilometers away in Chigasaki.
Police identified the suspect as Nobuo Takagi, who works as a systems engineer for an IT company. Police said he has admitted to the charge.
In a case that puzzled investigators, Michi Shinozaki had been playing with a friend at her home until 4 p.m. on Saturday Jan 11. After that, she went for a walk with her dog. When the dog returned home alone 40 minutes later, her father went out to search for her. He notified police at 6:40 p.m.
The girl showed up at a koban in Chigasaki at around 4 a.m. on Jan 15. The koban was empty at the time and the girl used the phone linked to police headquarters to call for help. She was unharmed, but tired. They asked her if she was hungry and she said no. Police told reporters that she kept saying she couldn't remember anything or she didn't know when asked where she had been for the past four days.
Michi had a medical checkup, but the results were not made public, fueling speculation that she might have been drugged. Since then, police said they had been interviewing her to try and shed light on what happened during those four days. Police said the only thing the girl told them was that a man she didn't know forced her into his car.
On Friday, police said that Takagi admitted putting the girl into his car and drove to his home where he confined her, Fuji TV reported. On some occasions, he said he took the girl to a restaurant.
Police said that surveillance camera footage of cars in the area where Michi disappeared led them to Takagi who was taken into custody at around 9 a.m. Friday.© Japan Today