The parents of a 7-year-old girl who went missing at a mountainous campsite in Doshi-mura, Yamanashi Prefecture, on Monday spoke publicly for the first time about their agony and hope for their daughter’s safe return. They also gave permission for the police to release a photo of their daughter, Misaki Ogura.
Misaki’s parents spoke to the media at the campsite where they have remained since Misaki went missing at around 3:40 p.m.on Saturday Sept 21. Misaki, who had come with her mother and sister in a group of about 30 people from Narita City in Chiba Prefecture, was last seen running by herself behind some other children after eating snacks. Her mother saw her run off and turn left into the woods. That was the last time anyone saw her. She was wearing a black long-sleeved shirt and jeans.
Misaki’s mother Tomoko, 36, shed tears as she told reporters that she hoped to hug Misaki in her arms very soon. She said Misaki is her youngest daughter and "a very active child who loves animals."
In response to the search carried out by Yamanashi Prefectural Police, Self-Defense Force members and volunteers, Tomoko said, "I am deeply grateful that so many people have cooperated with our family."
Misaki's parents have spent each night since Sept 21 in a tent at the campsite in the event that their daughter returns. They keep a light inside their tent on throughout the night as they anxiously wait for clues to Misaki’s whereabouts.
Misaki’s father Masashi, 37, said: "When I think of how lonely she is out here alone, my heart feels as if it's been torn from my chest. I simply want to find you and see you soon." He added, "Whenever our family was feeling blue, Misaki was the one to make jokes and brighten up the mood.”
Searchers have used tracker dogs and a drone equipped with a sensor capable of detecting body heat but so far no trace of Misaki has been found.
A stream runs through the woods down the mountain but a search downstream proved fruitless. Searchers have been cutting down tall grass in an effort to find the girl.
Police are also checking nearby farmhouses and empty huts.© Japan Today