crime

Woman phones fiance, asks him to call police, before going missing

47 Comments

A 25-year-old woman who went missing in Sapporo on May 4 phoned her fiance and said "Call the police!" just before the phone was suddenly cut off, police said Wednesday.

According to police, Kana Ito, who lives with her fiance in Atsubetsu Ward, left their apartment at 12:40 a.m. on May 4, after an argument with him, TV Asahi reported. She told him she was going for a walk. Approximately 20 minutes later, Ito called her fiance and said, "Call the police" and then the connection was cut off.

Police have started circulating posters with Ito's description and a photo, asking the public for help. Ito is 160 cm tall, has straight black shoulder-length hair, and was wearing a cream-colored coat and black pants when she left home.

Anyone with any relevant information is asked to call police at 011-896-0110.

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47 Comments
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Maybe she should have called the police instead of calling her boyfriend. I'm assuming the police have a record of her calling him and are not just going on what the BF told them.

9 ( +12 / -3 )

Frightening. Far too many crazies out there these days it seems. I hope she is found alive and safe.

3 ( +7 / -4 )

He killed her. Disposed of the body. Then called his keitai with her cell phone. Threw away her keitai. Then called the police. 99% certainty on that :-)

2 ( +18 / -15 )

Amanda. Yes. Seems most likely doesn't it.

-2 ( +7 / -9 )

I tend to agree with Amanda Harlow ..

-3 ( +7 / -10 )

I assume Docomo has a record of her calling him at that time? If not, yes, the fiance would look pretty suspicious.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

Maybe she should have called the police instead of calling her boyfriend

That's the initial, rather suspicious aspect, but there is the possibility that she was in the process of calling the boyfriend, concentrating on her phone when somebody took advantage that and attacked suddenly.

She'd only have time to yell "Call the police," before the phone was snatched from her and turned off

11 ( +12 / -1 )

Along with all the other armchair Columbos, I have to sat the boyfriend would be my number one suspect.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

Very strange case. I'm sure the police will be questioning the fiance. But if he did kill her, where did he kill her? If he killed her at home, how did he dispose of the body? It's not easy to carry a body out of the apartment without being seen.

If he killed her outside, then where did he dispose of the body? And there is always the chance that someone saw them together or they were filmed by surveillance cameras.

I think there are two other possibilities.

The whole thing is a hoax. Don't ask me why. The woman was out walking and saw something that frightened her, maybe another crime being committed and perhaps tried to flee but was caught before she could complete her call to her fiance.
1 ( +2 / -1 )

Maybe I watch too much NCIS and Law and Order but couldn't they tell where the cell phones were when the call was made? As in, if the boyfriend called from her phone and answered his, woudn't it show the location of them being together? I think Iphones offer this kind of thing. Of course the BF is a suspect, They always are at the beginning. I hate to sound crass but I rather hope he is. I'm sure the locals could sleep better at night knowing it was the BF rather than some random guy kidnapping women off the street.

-2 ( +5 / -7 )

Investigation focusing the fiance would reveal all the secrets. If her phone call timing and location is confirmed technologically, only then any third party involvement can be assumed.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Ms. Harlow seems to have the MO down pat. Almost too down pat.

3 ( +4 / -2 )

What happen to treat a person as innocent until proven otherwise?

6 ( +7 / -1 )

I'm disgusted to see people ready to throw an innocent man (yes, innocent; everyone is innocent until proven guilty) in jail based on zero evidence.

And we all know what will happen if the police take him in for questioning.

Maybe she's running away from her life and wants it to look like something happened to her. Maybe she wants her boyfriend to feel guilty about whatever they were arguing about and is tricking him into thinking she's in trouble. People have faked incidents for reasons like this before. We don't even know if she's alive or dead, and people are already talking about a "killer" and a "body".

Innocent until proven guilty. We don't yet know whodunit. In fact, we don't even know if anything has been "dun".

7 ( +7 / -1 )

Maybe she should have called the police instead of calling her boyfriend. I'm assuming the police have a record of her calling him and are not just going on what the BF told them.

My thoughts exactly. I would need to see proof that she called before I dismiss him as a suspect.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

No one wants him jailed. Just pointing out that he should be a suspect.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Innocent until proven guilty is just an American cliche...remember were in Japan where the custom is guilty until convinced by the 99%conviction rate torture police that it's better to lie that ur guilty than demand innocence!

3 ( +5 / -1 )

Maybe she should have called the police instead of calling her boyfriend. I'm assuming the police have a record of her calling him and are not just going on what the BF told them.

It takes me one button to call the most important people on my contact list, while it takes multiple buttons to call the police. Calling her BF might have been faster. And sorry to mention it, but people often do things that weren't the best choice when in a stressful/emergency situation.

I am sure that the police are smart enough to check that the call actually happened and if possible pin point the location of both phones at the time.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

The first thing I want to say is kudos to JT for providing this information, complete with picture and contact number.

I only wish we had gotten the information sooner, but I understand the difficulties.

He killed her. Disposed of the body. Then called his keitai with her cell phone. Threw away her keitai. Then called the police. 99% certainty on that :-)

My first thought as well, but if I would not ever bother to offer a percentage of my certainty. It would be meaningless. I just find it to be a distinct possibility. Not really sure what to make of the report that this was after an argument. Could lead to a motive, but then again, he might just be an honest soul.

In any case, I hope she is alright and will come home safe.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Too ayashii...I agree w Amanda.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Did he call the Police immediately after her call?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Innocent until proven guilty is just an American cliche

No, it's the foundation of a number of legal systems around the world, including Japan.

2 ( +5 / -2 )

I once was in an emergency situation and my first instinct was to call my BF...I didn't even think of the police, until he reminded me to call them! Maybe she knew she didn't have time for a phone call with the police.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

The Japanese news has her saying 頭を冷やすため散歩してくる "Atama wo hiyasu tame, sanpo shite kuru." I need to clear my head (calm down) so I'm going for a walk. (or) "I am going out for a walk in order to cool my head."

I just don't see it. If they had just had a row I bet she would have slammed the door without telling him anything. She certainly would not have used the word 'sanpo'. A stroll??? Besides, in her mind she would surely have been wanting him to cool it. Very suspicious!

Still, let's give him the benefit of the doubt, until some kind of evidence turns up. I expect the Police will be watching him closely for a while.

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

He didn't have to tell the police that they had had an argument as this would obviously raise suspicions about him so I reckon he may well be innocent (or really, really clever!).

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Maybe she knew she didn't have time for a phone call with the police.

Good point Fouxdefa! I have the local koban on speed dial. The number 9 plus call button and bang, straight to the koban. But if I ever call, I will have to explain everything from zero, including my identity, and I will have to convince them that I am not just another nut like the nuts who call them a few hundred times a month.

But if I call my wife, the conversation will be much shorter for so many reasons of familiarity, and someone out there will know exactly what is going on with me. But you know what? Women can be very clever about things like this. In such a situation, I would probably be so stupid as to call the cops first, and they would write me off as some drunk gaijin and go back to sleep.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Wow lets see if you know you are in a life threatening position why call you bf wouldnt you think to call the police first then your bf? Sounds like the bf goofed this one up with twisted logic

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Ok let's play an scenario just for speculation:

the couple had an argument where the lady was upset at the guy for something he probably didn't do or he did it the wrong way (for example, not doing the laundry, spent the money and have nothing for the rest of the month, etc) She storms off for a walk to cool her head because she's mad at his BF for doing a stupid thing. On the street, she felt better and thought to call her BF, but then she saw some suspicious (a crime in the making), since she can't stop it, dialed the number to tell her BF to call the police. The criminals decide to abduct her because she witnessed everything and was talking on the phone.

I really hope this is only fiction, and she appears safe and sound, I also think the BF is innocent until proven otherwise.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Wow lets see if you know you are in a life threatening position why call you bf wouldnt you think to call the police first then your bf?

Because when you are in a life threatening position your reasoning ability often isn't at its best.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

I don't consider myself an armchair Colombo, even though I do have a Peugeot and a trenchcoat. But Amanda's theory is plausible. Plus, I saw it on an episode of Galileo. ;)

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I'm with Amanda on this one. Usually the last person to see a victim is a prime suspect. Also, it's a bit unusual for the guy to remember the exact time she left the apartment, especially being distracted by the fight. I think the follow-up story will include his arrest and confession.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

It's lucky she called him, otherwise he'd be a prime suspect., what with being the last one to see her and all.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

No, it's the foundation of a number of legal systems around the world, including Japan.

Actually, one could argue, and many have, that in Japan, the presumption of innocence is nominal and that in practice most people in Japan (including the police), equate the act of simply being arrested with being guilty. It has also been argued that Japan's high conviction rate contributes greatly to this line of thinking.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

From dating Japanese girls you realise that they do the most crazy things to get attention.. I could make a list that would shock you. Highly likely she is doing this for attention.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

It takes me one button to call the most important people on my contact list, while it takes multiple buttons to call the police. Calling her BF might have been faster. And sorry to mention it, but people often do things that weren't the best choice when in a stressful/emergency situation.

I am sure that the police are smart enough to check that the call actually happened and if possible pin point the location of both phones at the time.

It takes one button to call the most important people in your life logic says in a life threatening situation those people dont have the right to manuever through traffic like police and emergency vehicles do. Times is critical not just the push of a button

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Well-said, Thon.

They are supposed to get married next month, and had an argument. Other than that, we know little else. Why not wait for updates?

NHK said they broadened the search area today.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

It's interesting how many people already have a judgement formed from an article that gives very little information whatsoever. Police say she called the boyfriend and said so-and-so. Did he tell them that? Was it recorded? Let's hope nobody passing judgement on here ever gets jury duty.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Times is critical not just the push of a button

I agree, sitting here in my apartment at my computer I know that her best choice would have been to call the police.

Late at night, in danger, under stress and having to make an instantaneous decision none of us can say for certain what we would have done. But I am sure we can all think of times when we made a bad decision that looking back on it we wonder why we didn't make a different choice.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

I reckon he HAD to tell the police they had an argument that evening because probably neighbors in the building heard raised voices. But between argument and him calling the police with this story...I wonder how long. That area is very near forests and rivers, if he has a car he could get the body down the stairs and away quick. I think, sadly, they will find her in a river somewhere soon. But I hope to be proved wrong :-)

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

Readers, please refrain from posting slanderous remarks like this.

If it turns out, as I hope, that she is alive, or if turns out she was murdered by a stranger, could the fiancé sue Amanda Harlow for defamation or libel?

3 ( +3 / -0 )

It's amazing how many posters here seem to have access to all the 'facts', whereas the police, the missing woman's family and the media do not.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Amanda, I agree that your assessment is logical! A woman in trouble doesn't call anyone but the police. The tactic of using the victim's phone to make a call it all to common. Every missing person case I have worked on where a call was made after the person went missing in each case the call was made by the abductor to throw the police off.

But there is one flaw (outliar) with that theory. The husband would not have volunteer the information about the "argument" because that makes him look like the prime suspect. In a logic tree if there is one outliar then no matter how sound the assessment is the assessment can not be true under and circumstance.

Scenario #1 The missing element is two fold... 1. where she was going and 2. whom she talked to while she was out. She couldn't call the police because of whom she was talking to. The "whom" is the mystery person.

And if this were a cry for attention... not to be sexists, but a girl would be more creative. It would be more thought out instead of a spur of the moment thing at the early morning hours.

Scenario #2, maybe she doesn't wish to get married. He should publicly invite her back with no penalty to simply have a talk

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Check the GPS info of both phones. I bet they were close to each other when the calls were made.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

@sensei... I imagine that is the 1st thing the police did. She went for a 20 minutes so the calls are of course close. There are two possibilities.

1 She has cold feet about the marriage. In that case both families should give her some space as long as she relays that she is safe. I encourage both families to offer her "no strings attached" if she calls in and says she's OK.

Use a chaplain if need be... someone who can talk indirectly to both parties. Heck, use a facebook account to communicate!

2 Whomever she met while she was out did something to her. Stranger abductions are rare. I am crossing off "jilted secret lover" because he/she would have to know the exact time of the fight between Kana Ito and her fiance. Also, a stranger would have taken her cell phone before she could make a call.

I do find it humorous that about 80% of the posts assume the fiance "man" is "guilty" without any evidence one way or the other. Actually I find it rather disturbing.

I would advise that her fiance check her facebook or other social media to see if there have been any recent "updates" or logins.

Not that I have done some of the work.. but there are 9 Kana Ito's on Facebook and one of them just went "secret". Account 359126 just set her privacy settings to "do not disturb". The account was converted to a "page" and currently has only one like. I am assessing that the one "like" is the creator (merger). Converting to a page is the quickest way to adjust FB privacy settings. Just google "Converting Your Personal Account to a Facebook Page".

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Also, a stranger would have taken her cell phone before she could make a call.

And how does that work?

If she is worried about say for instance the stranger following her, so as she speeds up her pace she starts to call her BF. The stranger sees her using her phone and rushes up, grabbing the phone after she only gets a few words out.

Not saying that is what happened but claiming a stranger would have taken her phone before she could make a call has no basis in reality.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

Japanese news is reporting that the reason the phone cut off was because the fiance stepped into an elevator after he got the call. Probably a panic decision and a real shame. It seems unlikely that the fiance did it as he would have had to have someone else answer his phone in a completely different place. The position of both phones at the time of the call were logged. The place where she made the call is under a bridge with plenty of places for someone to hide especially at night. Our best hope is that she was kidnapped or phoned for another reason and she is still alive.

Its not always the jilted lover and its common practice to call your boyfriend if someone is following you. People generally don't call the police until they are absolutely sure they are in real danger. She probably thought making a call was enough to put off her possible pursuer.

I really hope she turns up safe.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

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