Japan Today

Missing girl's mother consulted police about same suspicious car in May


Police in Kurashiki, Okayama Prefecture, said Thursday that the mother of an 11-year-old girl who disappeared while walking on her way home from school on Monday afternoon, consulted them in May about a suspicious silver car that was seen in the area where the girl was last seen.

At around 4 p.m. on Monday, Sakura Moriyama called her mother to come and pick her up from school. However, her mother was at the hospital with her younger sister and was unable to pick her up, so Sakura 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. The man was dressed in a black suit and was standing near a silver car.

Police said that Sakura's mother called them one afternoon in May after she saw a silver car parked near their home a couple of times and was worried that it might have followed Sakura home from school. However, she was unable to give police the complete license number and the car was not seen in the vicinity again.

It was after that incident that Sakura's mother got her a cell phone with a GPS system.

Sakura's mother called her at around 5:30 p.m. on Monday. 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 Sakura’s phone was turned off later Monday night.

Sakura 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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I really hope this little girl gets rescued, whatever happened. What a nightmare!

8 ( +8 / -0 )

A not sure to understand, nobody went to the GPS location before it was switch of on Monday night ?!

5 ( +6 / -1 )

she was unable to give police the license number

That's not true :


4 ( +5 / -1 )

man man man every parents worst nightmare. Even the GPS didn't help. I hope she turns up safe and sound.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Just heard she has been found and a 40 year old deviant sicko has been arrested, I hope she can over come this ordeal and go one to have a successful normal as possible life.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Sad for this family and terrible for this girl, I hope they catch the paedophile that has kidnapped her, and a long slow painful, agonising death is waiting for this Barstood that has done this.

It is every parents worst nightmare to have a young child kidnapped, poor parents must be going through hell.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Aaron Loki Brummt:

" I also can't fathom a Japanese eleven year old girl walking alone. "

Apparently, you don´t live in Japan. I see 6-year olds walk alone to and from school here.

In the event, they seem to have some clues about the perpetrator, so lets hope they find them soon.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

I hope she is ok and safe, may the good Lord rescue all the little childrens, those who have evil intention with the kids please leave them alone.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

@Rickyvee: how do you know she did not?

2 ( +5 / -3 )

I really hope this girl is safe and okay. I cannot even begin to imagine what the family is going through right now. I just hope with CCTV footage and some witnesses can identify this man and bring the girl back home safely.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

but if I saw one of the kids in my neighbourhood talking to some guy in a strange car

Maybe hes not a stranger, which is a common thing.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Search for that car everywhere. I hope they find the guy who took her, and more importantly I hope they find her unharmed.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

It's the ultimate nightmare for her parents.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

A friend told me that a suspicious cyclist was regularly seen following her daughter and a friend in Tokyo.The same time after school and the same place. The mother went to report it to the police. She was told that it was not in their jurisdiction and she would have to go to a much further station to report it despite there being a "koban" right near the school! The girls changed routes home and got hair cuts to change their appearance. Even 35 years ago, we were told how to keep our eyes open for suspicious cars, not to talk to strangers near cars, run to crowded areas, try to avoid the same time and the same route home and use the eyes in the back of the head and ears. I grew up in an area where girls were latch key kids and we were not free from pedophiles. It amazes me to no end how schools do not teach kids about protecting themselves here. We were told to yell, "fire" instead of "help," carry keys, pepper spray, etc. In our area, kids have loud emergency buzzers and people are pretty aware of predators around schools. They are often not random. They seek out targets and plan for weeks. The police should have been patroling the area after the report of the silver car. Really naiive. May she arrive home safely. May she get the help she needs if she does arrive home. That's another area this country needs more care with... the after effects of rape or molestation.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Where I live here in Japan, elementary school who live in the same area meet at a specific point in the morning and walk to school together. Going home is the same. This doesn't happen elsewhere?

2 ( +2 / -0 )

I feel for those mother - it must be terrible with so many ifs. If she had got the full plate number, if she could go and pick her girl that day, etc.

I can recall many similar moments with my kids and I don't know what I would do if something happens...

I pray for the girl and hope they find her unharmed. She must have felt safe just 150m away from her home. Nobody knows what happened. The guy might have talked to her and then forcefully put her in the car. Hope everything end well!

2 ( +2 / -0 )

As StormR says, they've just announced on the news that she has been found and the kidnapper apprehended. Thank God. What remains are the unanswered questions as to why the police didn't do more to prevent this in the first place, given the incident in May. But thankfully they did enough to find her alive. As for the kidnapper, let's hope he gets the rest of his life behind bars!!

2 ( +2 / -0 )

kickboard 車のナンバーを一部記憶していた she remembered part of it.

On today's TV news I think they were saying that police are reviewing footage of people's in-car recordings, at least one of which showed the possible car.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

I wish this girl is ok and soon she will come back home safely.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

I bet it's a matter of time with cameras and YOUTUBE everywhere. They will find the criminal and hope to god the girl's all right.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Maybe hes not a stranger, which is a common thing.

Exactly. People talking to kids are not necessarily strangers... and people harming kids are even more likely to be close acquaintances than unknown "weird guys in weird cars". I hope the girl is fine and only went on some Summer holidays in advance... meanwhile if I were the police, I'd investigate in all directions, including the family and the mother.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Hope she's all right

1 ( +2 / -1 )

I hope the girl turns up safe. Not much else to say except gruesome things to be meted out to the perp....

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Aaron, in this case, if it is the same car, or even if not,

it sounds like the girl was being scoped out. So it's not a matter of knowing if the mom is coming, more than taking advantage of an opening.

Hope she comes back soon and safe.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

How many times do the police hafta' be told about something before they do something PRO-active, and not RE-active, such as a case like this? The mother reports a strange, silver car in the neighborhood near their house. And look what happens: the young lady in question is last seen talking with a man who's driving a silver car. Note to the police: Get out of the Koban box, and actually PATROL. A little proactivity may have saved this family some terrible trauma and angst...

1 ( +4 / -3 )

Is Japan filled with Silver cars? How many that match that partial license plate are around the last place her cellphone GPS recorded? That has to reduce the possibilities quite a bit.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

@DaDude... that's what bothers me about this. An eleven year old girl is not stupid and would not go off with a stranger... especially one her mother warned her about (Silver car). I am left to wonder who else knew that her mother was not going to pick her up that day! I also can't fathom a Japanese eleven year old girl walking alone.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Where I live here in Japan, elementary school who live in the same area meet at a specific point in the morning and walk to school together. Going home is the same. This doesn't happen elsewhere?

They walk together in the morning but classes get out at different hours, some kids stay late after classes because their parents work, others have club, juku... So no, walking home together doesn't happen like it does with regards to walking TO school together.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

The police found her! Good news indeed. I can't imagine the relief the parents must be feeling right now, but I'm certain they aren't harboring any thoughts of forgiveness towards the man who upended their family. Hope he rots in jail for a very long time.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

They found her!

1 ( +1 / -0 )

As I said on the other thread, police fail. Why did they not go around and let people know about this?? When will cops here be proactive rather than reactive? Strange car and a mother worried her kid is being followed? The community needs to know this.

What amazed me last night were the number of people who SAW this car and this girl and said nothing to the little girl or the driver. Yes, they probably didn't know mom complain (cop fail at its finest) but if I saw one of the kids in my neighbourhood talking to some guy in a strange car, you can bet your bottom dollar I would be over there to give a friendly hello and a smile.

0 ( +5 / -5 )

I have a question... how many people would have known that her mother was not going to pick her up that one day?

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Interesting point, Aaron.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

@Lowly! Thank you! Someone with plenty of time on their hands to wait for the opportunity... someone who is unemployed... and lives alone!

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Maybe hes not a stranger, which is a common thing.

Did you read the article? The mom reported a strange car. I highly doubt she'd report a car driven by someone either she or her daughter knew. Well aware that most issues are caused by either family members or relatives (said so on the other thread) but this does not sound like this is the case here.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

Where is the father? Is this about him? I mean, there's no mention of it and I hope she gets home soon if it is a pervert.

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

if the mom saw a suspicious silver car in the previous months, shouldn't she have warned her daughter about talking to strangers with silver cars?

-9 ( +3 / -12 )

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