The body of a child found floating in a river in Otari, Nagano Prefecture, on Monday morning, has been identified as Rina Machida, 7, who went missing on Saturday, local media reported.
The girl's body was found at around 11 a.m. after about 150 police and firefighters, along with police dogs, resumed their search for the missing girl at 6 a.m. Monday. She was found floating at a point in the river about two kilometers from her grandparents' home, police said. She was taken to hospital in a state of cardiopulmonary arrest but was confirmed dead on Monday afternoon.
Police said there were no external signs of injury on the body and believe it is possible that Rina fell into the river. They said an autopsy will be conducted to determine the cause of death.
Rina was last seen at around 11:40 a.m. Saturday heading to a local festival behind her mother and older brother, Fuji TV reported.
According to police, the trio were staying at Rina’s grandparents’ home in Otari, a small mountain community of about 75 residents. Rina’s mother and brother left the house to go help with preparations for the festival at a shrine compound about 100 meters from their house. Rina followed after her mother and brother and was about 30 meters behind them when she disappeared.
Rina’s mother called police at around 1:40 p.m. after she and local residents were unable to find the girl. About 70 police and firefighters searched for Rina without luck on Saturday afternoon and more personnel joined the search again on Sunday.
Police said a witness saw Rina walking near the shrine gateway at around 11:40 a.m. Another witness said he saw a girl who looked like Rina carrying a stuffed toy.
Her sandals were found in long grass by a narrow road about 300 meters from her grandparents’ home, but in the opposite direction from the shrine.© Japan Today