Parents of girls who were kidnapped or murdered in a series of unsolved cases have banded together and arranged a formal meeting in an attempt to make progress in the cases. The families are those of five young girls who were kidnapped and murdered between 1979 and 1996 in Tochigi and Gunma Prefectures.
The events in each case and the modus operandi of the perpetrator are thought by many to have been similar enough to suggest that the cases may be linked. The parents are hoping to appeal to the authorities to help them solve the last remaining open case, that of Yukari Yokoyama, 4, who was abducted from a pachinko parlor in 1996. If the case can be solved before it expires, the parents are hoping to discover information that might lead to some closure in regard to the other expired cases.
Yukari's father Yasuo said, "I called this meeting because I thought that alone, we cannot achieve much, but it is my hope that working together, we are not helpless."© Compiled from news reports