Police in Kurashiki, Okayama Prefecture, said Saturday night that an 11-year-old girl who disappeared while walking on her way home from school last Monday afternoon, has been found unharmed after being confined in a man's home.
The man, identified as Takeshi Fujiwara, 49, has been arrested and charged with kidnapping and illegally confining Sakura Moriyama, police said at a late-night news conference, TBS reported.
At around 4 p.m. last Monday, Sakura 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.
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. She was not seen again after that.
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. She was able to give police a partial license number.
Working on that information, police said they were able to trace the owner of the silver car and at around 10:20 p.m. Saturday, they visited Fujiwara's house in Kita Ward, Okayama, where they found Sakura unharmed. Police said she was lying on a futon, in pajamas, watching TV.
Fujiwara's house is about 8 kilometers from Sakura's home. He was quoted by police as saying that he got Sakura into his car by offering to drive her home.
Police said Fujiwara is an illustrator by profession and works at home a lot.© Japan Today