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Image: Osaka Prefectural Police

Osaka police ask public for help on girl missing since 2003


Osaka prefectural police on Monday appealed to the public for any information that might help them find out what happened to a nine-year-old girl who went missing on May 20, 2003, in the town of Kumatori near Osaka Bay.

Police and support groups of Yuri Yoshikawa's family handed out about 5,000 flyers at Nankai Electric Railway’s Nanba Station.

Yoshikawa is believed to have been abducted while she was on her way home from school. No trace of her has been found since.

During the past 20 years, police have followed up on thousands of leads and there is a 3 million yen reward offered for information concerning Yuri’s fate.

Police said the only tangible lead they have is that a white Toyota Crown was seen driving away from the area where Yuri is believed to have been abducted, with a male driver and a young girl in the front passenger seat.

Anyone with any information is asked to call the Izumisano police station at 072-464-1234.

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I remember that sad story. It was around that time, down in Kyushu, that kids on their way to school in our city reported a man in a parked car who was "shaking his wiener" seen on the kids' way to school. The police just sort of shrugged and said they would increase their patrols. The fathers and oyaji-kai were out in force the next morning all along the routes the kids took to school. A couple of kids identified the guy in his car again and he was chased down by fathers as he fled. I chased him to a red light on my bicycle, banged on his car window and yelled at him that we were watching him and we were out in force to protect our children. I remember the car had a Hiroshima number plate. The number plate was reported to police but as far as anyone knew, the police never followed up. He was never seen in our neighbour again.

9 ( +13 / -4 )

How awful. After all these years, the chances of any kind of outcome must be very, very remote and the family will likely always carry their grief.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

If you've lived in Osaka for any length of time over the past 20 years you would have seen that poster regarding Yuri multiple times at Kobans, subway and train stations.

Yuri's family and supporters have never given up hope and perhaps it's up to all of us to watch out for the kids in our neighborhoods as @proxy experienced.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Poor kid and her family. Wrong place at the wrong time. It's just so hard to prevent these kinds of things from happening. Her family must still be holding on to hope since we see this same story and poster every year. Hope one day they find her and they can have that long sought after reunion.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Never, never give up. Cold cases are solved sometimes and it's worth the bother. The US has even devoted whole TV shows on such things. Keep trying even if the case happened long ago.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

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