crime

Police believe murdered girl, missing boy were taken near train station

44 Comments

Osaka prefectural police investigating the murder of a 13-year-old girl and the disappearance of a 12-year-old boy with whom she was last seen on Aug 13, said Thursday they believe the two were met or approached by someone near Keihan Neyagawashi Station and taken away in a car.

The focus of the investigation has shifted to a mysterious car that came into the parking lot of a distribution center in Takatsuki on the night of Aug 13, where the mutilated body of Natsumi Hirata was found, Fuji TV reported.

At first, police believed two cars had come into the parking lot, but a closer examination of surveillance camera footage now shows only one car. Police said a car with its lights on entered the parking lot at around 10:35 p.m. The lights then went off and the car left. Five minutes later, the same vehicle, with its lights on again, came back into the lot and parked in the same spot as before with its lights off. The car then left at 11:10 p.m. with its lights on.

Hirata’s body was found behind a truck at around 11:35 p.m. Her hands were tied with duct tape, which was also wrapped around her head. She was wearing a white shirt, black tank top, denim shorts and navy knee-high socks, but she was not wearing any shoes. There were at least 30 cuts on her body, some as deep as to the bone.

An autopsy revealed that the girl had been suffocated, probably about four or five hours before her body was found, Fuji TV reported.

Hirata’s classmate, Ryoto Hoshino, who was with her on the night of Aug 12 and early Aug 13, remains missing.

Police have been trying to piece together the movements of the two children after they left their homes on Aug 12.

Here is what is known so far.

On Aug 12 at about 6 p.m., Hirata told her mother she was going out to play with Hoshino. She took her bicycle and a small tent. Meanwhile, Hoshino told his mother at 9 p.m. that he was going to hang out with Hirata.

The two were seen outside a convenience store at 10:30 p.m., eating ramen. A passerby asked Hirata where her parents were and she just laughed.

After that, the children apparently started texting friends on the messaging app Line. Around midnight, Hoshino asked a 12-year-old girl if he could spend the night at her house but she said no. Hirata texted a friend and asked if she could come over but the friend said Hirata should go home or her mother would get angry.

At 1:09 a.m. on Aug 13, security camera footage at a shopping arcade showed Hirata riding her bicycle. Then at 5:09 a.m., she and Hoshino are seen walking back and forth in the arcade where they most likely remained until dawn to get out of the rain.

At 6:35 a.m., Hirata texted a friend and said she and Hoshino were going to Kyoto and that she probably wouldn’t be returning to Neyagawa. That was the last time anyone heard from her or Hoshino. When friends attempted to call them on their cell phones during the day, they got no signal.

The arcade is a short walk from the train station. Hoshino was seen once more, placing his bicycle in a paid parking spot outside the station at around 3 p.m. on the afternoon of Aug 13, and that is the last time he was seen. Hirata’s bike was found nearby.

Police said there is no evidence that the children got on a train for Kyoto. Security camera footage shows no one resembling the children at the train station or the bus stop, and no witnesses have been found, who saw them at the station that day.

Police are trying to find out what happened between 3 p.m. and 7 p.m., which is when Hirata died, according to the autopsy.

Police are asking anyone with any information about the two children or the mysterious car to come forward or call 090-7885-7034.

© Japan Today

©2021 GPlusMedia Inc.


44 Comments
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I hope that whomever is guilty of this crime is caught and soon!

I have a question for the parents of these children; "What parent in their right mind let's their 12 year old son (or daughter) go out to play with a friend at 9 PM?" Are they nuts? I don't care if this is Japan, it's plain crazy and the parents have a responsibility to answer for this.

17 ( +19 / -2 )

I have to agree with Yurabu. This is terrible and tragic, but what were those two children doing wandering around at that time of night??

I grew up in New Zealand in the early 1960s, when no one even locked their doors when they went out, but my parents would NEVER have allowed me to go out unsupervised after dark.

8 ( +10 / -2 )

The girl's mother reported her missing at 5.30 on Friday afternoon,18 hours after her dead body was found at 11.30 on Thursday night. The girl went missing on Wednesday 11th. What kind of parent had no idea where her child is for three days...?

Japan's culture of disfunctional families has a hell of a lot ot answer for..

8 ( +12 / -4 )

A combination of a complete failure in parenting and a sub-human creature with less value than a cockroach prowling the streets.

6 ( +7 / -1 )

So many strange details in there.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

First of all, in my country, we are never allowed to be playing in the streets or even in friends home on school days! We were never allowed to be roaming around in malls or in arcades or even in supermarkets in our school uniforms unless accompanied with my mom! Now that's my country, that's my upbringing.bi find it very strange that the kids in Japan are so free to do al it's anything they want, come home anytime they want too, wear c,others they feel like, and even spend and purchase anything they can afford too. This system should change, and fast! I can't understand why the parents waited so ,ong before she contacted the police, or I may be wrong as it doesn't mention anything abt she calling one..by dinner time if her kids hasn't gone gone, she should have panicked already! My opinion.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Parents have some serious neglect issues letting their children outside all night. Child welfare should have been on top of this a long time ago, because this type of behavior obviously started way earlier than this.

7 ( +8 / -1 )

It is incorrect to say, Japanese parents ... Clearly some Japanese parents don't mind letting children run around freely around shopping areas during the day and early evening, but in Japan too, kids don't have unlimited permission to be away from home for three days! Something is clearly wrong in these kids' families. No Japanese families I know give their kids permission to be out past 8pm. On the contrary, I find the amount of scheduling of the kids' lives to be incredibly tight and suffocating, even.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

One of the details that hasn't been reported on JT yet is that the girls mother was always mean and angry to her kids (possibly also hitting but cant confirm that), thats why the girl didnt want to go home.

I feel sorry for the friends who declined them to stay at their house, they must feel pretty guilty.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

And where were the police? They usually patrol and should find runaway kids and take them into custody. Still even bad parenting, juvenile delinquency, or poor policing does not excuse the rotten bastards who hurt these kids.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

What parent in their right mind let's their 12 year old son (or daughter) go out to play with a friend at 9 PM

It actually sounds like this girl, had bought a tent and was out spending nights outside from time to time. Neighbors said that she even put the tent out and slept outside in their backyard. The mom works day and night while dad stays home and they never took the children anywhere to have fun so the neighbors are saying that this was the girls "protest" to put the tent outside to "camp" in the backyard.

Obviously this girl had problems with her parents and because she had stayed out many times, the parents probably thought she was once again doing the same thing to stay out. The fact that this girl had asked her friends if she could stay at the friends' house (instead of coming home) implies that she couldn't or didn't want to come home.

About the boy, not sure why the mom let him go out that late at night but I have an impression that this certainly wasn't his first time to go out at night. I know I wouldn't let my teenager go out that late at night without an adult with them.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

RIP little girl. Hope the boy is found safe. Obviously, both come from dysfunctional families where minors this age are not missed during those AM hours. But what really is sad is that both were seen by adults and they were not reported to police, or approached and asked firmly what were they doing at that time outside their homes.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

It is not uncommon to see children, even older JHS children out late at night, but usually coming back from juku or a club activitiy. But I have never come across 12-year olds allowed out so late. These kids stayed out all night, which no reponsible parent would allow, even in apparently more laid-back Japan.

This is a terrible incident, but the parenting in this case is appalling.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

geeze, there are bad parents all over the world. stupidity know no borders. some parents just don't give a rats arse about their children, the mother should at least be charged with neglect in this case.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

So, I'm kiiiinda getting the vibe that they're runaways who got involved with some strangers by chance? There's still so much we don't know.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

One of the details that hasn't been reported on JT yet is that the girls mother was always mean and angry to her kids (possibly also hitting but cant confirm that), thats why the girl didnt want to go home.

These are rumors being passed from interviews with neighbors. I would bet that the same thing would be said about my parents when I was a kid too. But the consequences were too great to NOT go home.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Maybe the father did it. If he was a sick #%$%, her running away would have been a jilt. Her sleeping outside in a tent says everything. There was a couple in Florida that was recently arrested for enslaving a 13 year old girl keeping her as a sex slave for 5 years. There are some sick twisted people out there.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

RIP little girl. hope the boy turns up unharmed. Easy to blame the parents but it won't do any good now. I don't let my 11 yr old boy out after 5pm, period!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Sherlock Holmes hat on ... Sounds like these two kids were runaways. How the murder got in there is puzzling but they might have ran into the murderer by coincidence. Somebody who came across them and stalked them. The girl was probably fighting and so she was killed. But 30 knife cuts and suffocated... that looks like a complete maniac. I hate to spoil the day but the boy's body is probably found soon, too.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Easy to blame bad parents, not so hard to blame bad people in the world that go out and kill kids? The mom here was working hard overnight (in case anyone missed that part in earlier articles) probably to support her family, doesn't sound like a lazy mother to me, my mother was a single mom and had to work overtime overnight, I don't think she was a bad parent.

Blaming this one on evil people out there killing other people, not the mom.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

as there is no video footage of them at the station and the boy is seen locking his bike up on the 13th, maybe they were invited into the perps apartment which would be nearby or got into his car. Single male aged between 20 - 40 and guess he would have been charged with something before like assault.

Horrific story catch him soon and through the book at him, parents Japan is not so safe that you can let kids just roam free, letting him go out at 9pm??? Really!!!

RIP.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

@Strangerland - I feel you are banging your head against a brick wall. I feel that frustration too.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

@Strangerland - I feel you are banging your head against a brick wall. I feel that frustration too.

Thanks :)

But actually I'm not frustrated. I'll admit it, I like to argue my points on JT.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Parents everywhere are having the same issue, children at that age are tech savvy and usually have a ready excuse to explain why they are not where they stated they would be.

the phone- which is given to protect the child- actually gives the child a better way to hide where they will be.

and like all teens the sense of Invincibility is high- they never believe anything will harm them, stories in the news are just that stories.

such a shame

0 ( +0 / -0 )

the phone- which is given to protect the child- actually gives the child a better way to hide where they will be.

My kid's phone sends me a GPS link every time he uses it.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

It is so easy to blame the parents. Yes, they were negligent, but they did not murder the kids. The perpetrator(s) did. Concentrate on finding him(them).

2 ( +2 / -0 )

For once I agree with you Willi.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

True that Willi, but remember what is said about an ounce of prevention.... Sad way to lose one's child, and to know that if they'd been more attentive about a curfew the chances of this happening could drop down drastically.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

It's good to know that young tweens can roam the streets all night long, unmolested by the cops. Enforce curfew laws? Nah, that would take away from nap and tea time in the koban.

But now, of course, after the fact, we can count on our brave law enforcement officers to make a big scene about searching for the perpetrators of this gruesome crime. Maybe they can quickly catch a patsy, beat a confession out of him and close this case quickly.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

@Joe

Enforce curfew laws?

There are curfew laws in Japan?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

What exactly is the connection between bad parenting and murder here?

The children were out all night, but nothing happened to them at night... they were seen pretty safe on the camera footage until morning... according to all the data here the girl was murdered in the afternoon... I am sure even the best parents let their kids out between 3 PM and 7 PM...

If the article said the girl was murdered on her way from school at 5 PM would everybody also blame the parents?

Why is it that we always so easily judge other people? Even if we know nothing about them?

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Sherlock Holmes hat on ... Sounds like these two kids were runaways. How the murder got in there is puzzling but they might have ran into the murderer by coincidence. Somebody who came across them and stalked them. The girl was probably fighting and so she was killed. But 30 knife cuts and suffocated... that looks like a complete maniac. I hate to spoil the day but the boy's body is probably found soon, too.

I'd guess the case will be solved soon too. I always notice that the media releases the final evidence piece to the public after a suspect is caught. This case is slightly similar to the Kawasaki boy case.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Perhaps we should lay off the parents because too date they are not in the frame for this crime. Yes, they were perhaps negligent (don't know the details of their home life), but lets keep things in perspective. I would suggest that everybody preserve their abhorrence for the perpetrators of this horrible act. Let's just hope the local plod put on their A game and find those response as soon as possible.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

It does not sound like its something that the Yaks would do, i sounds like a snuff video to me, or some totally sick twisted BD, if there is CCTV footage can't the plod read the number plate? either way this sick ** needs catching quick

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

BrianWeeway:

" It does not sound like its something that the Yaks would do, i sounds like a snuff video to me, or some totally sick twisted B****D, if there is CCTV footage can't the plod read the number plate? "

There is absolutely nothing to indicate a snuff movie (as if we needed one in an age of daily murder video releases by ISIS...), and the "CCTV footage" that you mention shows 2 headlights. You can not even see a car, not mention a number plate. But you can be sure that the "plods" are scanning through area traffic cams from the time period where the care entered and left the parking lot. Lets hope they find something.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

@WilliB

It is so easy to blame the parents. Yes, they were negligent, but they did not murder the kids. The perpetrator(s) did. Concentrate on finding him(them).

Yes, they didn't murder their kids, but they are definitely responsible for the situation got the girl (not sure about the boy) murdered.

A parent's responsibility is to first and foremost protect their kids from danger. Letting kids go out and stay out all night until the early hours of the morning is a massive failure in parenting. You're just asking for something bad to happen to them. So yes, the parents are most definitely ones to blame and 100% responsible. Had the set stricter rules for them and gave them a curfew, they would definitely still be alive today.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

A parent's responsibility is to first and foremost protect their kids from danger. Letting kids go out and stay out all night until the early hours of the morning is a massive failure in parenting.

But she wasn't killed at night.

So yes, the parents are most definitely ones to blame and 100% responsible.

Wow, and I thought the murderer was responsible. Why are they even bothering to search for him if he has zero responsibility?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I grew up in Japan and was their age in the mid 70s. Yes it was very safe back then, we never locked our doors either. But my parents would no way let me or my sister leave the house after dark... Something is wrong with these parents.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

But she wasn't killed at night.

That's not the point, she could have been killed in the middle of the afternoon in broad daylight and the parents would still be responsible because they didn't know where the girl was, and she wasn't home at a time when all kids her age should be at home.

Since she was apparently up all night until the morning have a good ol time outside, there may be a chance that set up a tent somewhere and was attacked while she was asleep. Or it could be that some stranger took her in and killed her. The whole situation -the situation that her parents allowed to happen -lead to her death.

Wow, and I thought the murderer was responsible.

If the parents had protected like parents are suppose to, the murderer wouldn't haven't got to her.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

That's not the point, she could have been killed in the middle of the afternoon in broad daylight and the parents would still be responsible because they didn't know where the girl was, and she wasn't home at a time when all kids her age should be at home.

Kids are supposed to be home at 3-7pm (when she was killed)?

If the parents had protected like parents are suppose to, the murderer wouldn't haven't got to her.

Hey I got ya. The parents are 100% responsible. The murderer has zero responsibility. Clear as mud!

1 ( +2 / -1 )

NHK news Friday 7 p.m. reporting the police have taken a male Osaka resident in his 40s into custody in connection with this case. No word yet on the whereabouts of welfare of the missing boy.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Just horrific. No punishment is too great for whoever did this.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Who ever did this such a cleaver for leaving no evidence invisible murderer, I hope they will caught this evil psycho as soon as possible. RIP Hirata san, and hoping the boy still alive and sounds.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Highly coincidental story. it seems like the children of all nights? went out till morning. Its odd at that age to go out and not go home and think of runny? to Kyoto. It seemed that had some plans. Its odd that a prowler came at that time.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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