national

Body of child found in river confirmed as that of missing 7-year-old girl

56 Comments

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

©2019 GPlusMedia Inc.


56 Comments
Login to comment

Another witness said he saw a girl who looked like Rina carrying a stuffed toy

I saw this "witness" on the TV news, and as the last person to see Rina alive he would be the prime suspect...

-5 ( +6 / -11 )

Looking more and more to be a sad conclusion to this story. The poor family.

5 ( +8 / -3 )

This the most heartbreaking thing I can imagine. The poor parents must be devastated.

10 ( +11 / -1 )

police have not yet provided a positive identification

The body of small girl was found in a river wearing a pink t-shirt like Rina...

Moderator: Please don't get ahead of yourself.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

What strikes me the most, if this is a crime, is how, in a small community of 75 residents, there just happens to be a child predator on hand at the very precise moment the girl left her grandparents' home to go after her mother and brother just 30 meters ahead. It's frightening.

-4 ( +3 / -7 )

"there just happens to be a child predator on hand at the very precise moment"

Snatched, killed and dumped in a river to hide any DNA evidence. This was a professional piece of work from someone who has done this before.

The "witness" on the TV showed signs of "dupers delight" and was highly suspicious, either way the police records of the grandparents' neighbours will find the perp in no time...

http://www.criminalelement.com/blogs/2014/11/dupers-delight-duping-lie-liars-smile-getting-away-with-it-liespotting-pamela-meyer-ted-crime-hq

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

What strikes me the most, if this is a crime, is how, in a small community of 75 residents, there just happens to be a child predator on hand at the very precise moment the girl left her grandparents' home to go after her mother and brother just 30 meters ahead.

Or maybe she wandered off and got into an accident that ended up with her dead. It happens, and there is not enough information to know one way or the other at this moment.

7 ( +12 / -5 )

there just happens to be a child predator on hand

Unless the news updated, it could be a predator, mother, animal or she wandered off. Wait for the updates because all have happened in Japan.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Ouch, very tragic news. :(

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Oh no. The worst possible outcome.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

Very sad indeed. Not paying attention to a child even 30 meters away can be disastrous. RIP.

1 ( +6 / -5 )

I wonder how likely it is that she had an accident when her slippers were found in a field? Were they found near the river? If so the possibility of an accident increases, if not, it decreases.

Foul play or accident, whether Rina or someone else's daughter, tragic.

6 ( +8 / -2 )

I wonder how likely it is that she had an accident when her slippers were found in a field? Were they found near the river? If so the possibility of an accident increases, if not, it decreases.

Likelihood doesn't matter, what actually happened is what matters.

-2 ( +5 / -7 )

I follow the Japanese news about this case. There was a retired senior detective in the studio and he argued, that from the position of the both sandals ( found more than 2 meters apart from each other, one in quite tall bushes) it was most likely that the girl has been held ( dakko). After they discovered the body , he was certain that a third person has been involved. I'm not a detective, but I suspect that this wasn't a premeditated crime. Some sick person saw the girl as an easy prey, and his demons took hold of him. I even suspect that it was an elderly male resident of the village.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

smithinjapan at Aug. 29, 2016 - 01:43PM JST "Very sad indeed. Not paying attention to a child even 30 meters away can be disastrous. RIP."

That's true but in this case it seems so far that the mother wasn't aware Rina had followed and therefore can't be blamed for not paying attention. Why would she look behind her if she thought the girl was at home with Grandma?

8 ( +10 / -2 )

30 meters isn't much really. At 7, I walked to school by myself a boy half a mile. I played outside hundreds of meters away from home and out of site.

She likely got into trouble on her own.

-1 ( +4 / -5 )

That's the worst outcome...I send my condolences to the family of the little girl and hope that the person who did this is caught.

2 ( +6 / -4 )

The boy who was found by the SDF a while back after braving days without food gave me hope that this little one would have been found safely. My heart goes out to her poor parents, grandparents, siblings and everyone else who knew her. I cant even begin to imagine their pain. My prayers are with you.

5 ( +7 / -2 )

so sad, I'm heartbroken, poor little girl.... RIP.

7 ( +7 / -0 )

Terrible news. RIP little Rina.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

That poor poor baby and the pain the family is going through my prayers are with them. And now the mother and grandmother are going to suffer with guilt and what ifs for the rest of their lives and blame themselves for this tragedy. May GOD help them through this and i really do think that someone took her because i dont see a 7 year old just leaving their sandels like that because if they fell off she would have stopped and put them back on and then continued walking. So this looks more like a sick person did this to her. And also in a small village like that i beleave everyone knows one another however if they were preparing for a festival im sure they had people coming from different parts of the country to attend it. So there had to be a sick pervert among them that saw her and took her.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Some kinda psychopaths seems everywhere, even small villages. Parents better keep eyes on kids.

0 ( +4 / -4 )

There is no way in hell this was an accident. Small town, low budget will close this case.

3 ( +6 / -3 )

Very tragic outcome. It certainly appears suspicious to me.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

kwatt, Cortes, et al.: Until there is ANY indication to the contrary, it seems like the little girl got into trouble on her own and there is no point stating that some pervert or kidnapper, etc. is responsible until at the very least the autopsy is conducted. Where are you guys getting this from?

-1 ( +7 / -8 )

Readers, there is no evidence yet to suggest a crime was committed.

30 meters isn't much really. At 7, I walked to school by myself a boy half a mile. I played outside hundreds of meters away from home and out of site.

She likely got into trouble on her own.

You do realize these circumstances are different right? If all facts are unknown, kindly refrain from being so callous.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

Very sad. My heart goes out to her family.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

"Likelihood doesn't matter, what actually happened is what matters."

Yes, but that is how you rule in or rule out possible scenarios to arrive at what happened.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

I think most old locals there will have the perfect alibi in that they were at the "festival", basically a sit-down get together at the local kominkan or shrine. Anyone not turning up would be noticed.

Otari is very snowy in winter and basically none of the houses in that type of community will have much insulation, so Rina may not have been to her grandparents' very often, even though Matsumoto is under two hours away. It's easy to get lost somewhere you've hardly ever been.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Mods: "Readers, there is no evidence yet to suggest a crime was committed."

Yes, exactly! Thank you for bringing some sanity to this.

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

Yes, but that is how you rule in or rule out possible scenarios to arrive at what happened.

We're not the detectives here, and we only have whatever information is deemed acceptable for us to know. Ruling out possible scenarios is what the police do. Not a bunch of armchair detectives.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

"so Rina may not have been to her grandparents' very often, "

Another statement for which there is zero evidence.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Wonder if the elder brother will be quizzed?

1 ( +1 / -0 )

I feel for the family and small community. That's a blow.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

"Where are you guys getting this from?"

The fact her sandals were found about 1km from her body in long, rough grass. To have walked that distance in bare feet, she would have needed extremely tough feet and even then it would have been extremely painful for her.

And what happened to the stuffed toy? NHK last night did not report it being recovered, despite a massive search of the area.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

The fact her sandals were found about 1km from her body in long, rough grass. To have walked that distance in bare feet, she would have needed extremely tough feet and even then it would have been extremely painful for her.

Are you sure? I spent my childhood in barefeet outside. I could walk on pebbly paths with no issue.

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

"I spent my childhood in barefeet outside."

Me too, but I didnt toss my shoes in dense bush if I needed to find my parents. Nor did I choose to go shoeless along riverbanks with jagged stones, my preferred choice being old tennis sneakers. (Nowadays it's Tevas.)

2 ( +2 / -0 )

I have a question if they have been searching for her since Saturday did they even search near the river at all within these past few days??? And if they did they would have found her the same day.. So why did they just find her in the river on Monday???? I know we should wait till all of the facts are layed out....but they had a lot of people searching for her so why and how was she just found in the river???? It still looks strange....watch over your family little innocent angel im so so sorry for her and her family....and everyone who searched and prayed for a better out come everyone is suffering right now...

1 ( +1 / -0 )

I was hoping this story would turn out she'd be found alive.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Very very sad indeed! I just can't imagine the grief and pain of the family losing such a light in their lives. The circumstances and information circulating certainly throws doubt that this was an accident and I hope they can get to the bottom of this. If someone has had a hand in her death they need to be found or this will simply embolden them to strike again and another innocents life may be lost. If it was an accident it is incredibly tragic.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Most Japanese kids do not walk with bare feet on rough road being pebbles/stones for 800m. It seems her sandals were thrown away by someone.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Are you sure? I spent my childhood in barefeet outside. I could walk on pebbly paths with no issue.

I think the point is that Rina didn't leave her grandparents' house barefoot (AFAIK). Her shoes must therefore have been discarded while she was outside. I don't see why Rina would do that unless she decided to paddle in the river (body found downstream), and in that case I would expect to find her shoes on the riverbank, but they were found in long grass by a road.

That needs explaining, don't you think?

4 ( +4 / -0 )

If Rina lost her balance (or was pushed) and tumbled/rolled into the small creek that leads to the river where she was found, her sandals could have fallen off at two different spots along the way.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

The body found is distance 800m from the her sandals found in bushes aside rough road. It seems that someone seduced and took her to the river and drowned her.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

kwatt at Aug. 30, 2016 - 10:42AM JST "The body found is distance 800m from the her sandals found in bushes aside rough road."

Yes, but the sandals were just above a creek the feeds into that river and both were swollen from heavy rains.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

That position of the shoes has to be an absolute clincher - she was snatched!

2 ( +2 / -0 )

..other possibility is that she might have taken off her sandals to play near the water and unfortunately drowned. Kids often wander around they are explorer, a flower or a butterfly could easily catch their attention. I MIGHT BE WRONG This is just a question from most of us, it is really a norm to let your young kids walk out there having that 30 meter distance from the parent?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

You do realize these circumstances are different right? If all facts are unknown, kindly refrain from being so callous.

Don't know about the circumstances aside from what has been reported, but as I was pointing out that a distance of a mere 30 meters away from parents is not such a big deal, my comments are hardly callous. people seem to be blaming the mother for not holding her daughter's hand 24/7.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

JT: Rina was last seen at around 11:40 a.m. Saturday heading to a local festival behind her mother and older brother... 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.

It doesn't say the mother and brother were aware that she followed them. Sometimes it's easy for kids to slip through a handoff (ever watch 'Home Alone'?). And at least a couple of articles say she was chasing them (if Google Translate of '祭りの準備に向かった母親を追いかけて' is right). And also that the river was swollen when she disappeared, due to previous day's rains.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

She was found floating at a point in the river about two kilometers from her grandparents’ home

Snatched, killed and dumped in a river to hide any DNA evidence. This was a professional piece of work from someone who has done this before. The "witness" on the TV showed signs of "dupers delight" and was highly suspicious, either way the police records of the grandparents' neighbours will find the perp in no time...

http://www.criminalelement.com/blogs/2014/11/dupers-delight-duping-lie-liars-smile-getting-away-with-it-liespotting-pamela-meyer-ted-crime-hq

And anyone who still thinks that child-rape kiddie-porn manga is a victimless crime should immediately throw themselves off the nearest tall building...

Because we're coming to get you!!

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

祭りの準備に向かった母親を追いかけて

"She chased after her mother who was on her way to prepare for the festival"

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Google Translate verified, thanks!

I once followed a little 4-yo kid who ran to the supermarket against at least two green lights (the first one I saw was in front of my car). His parents had told him to stay with his sister but he wanted to go with them, he thought they had already left so he ran off after them. Called the police, but his parents got to us in front of the supermarket a few minutes before the police did, don't know if the dispatcher was on the phone to the parents. He wasn't waiting for cars, just ran right across.

And it's not like I've never done something similar. Once lost a 2-yo on vacation in Russia! (I went to the money changer and thought she had him, she thought I had him.) Found him a few minutes later looking up from behind the rails in a little garden area under a staircase in the lobby, probably someone put him there so we'd find him.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

"She chased after her mother who was on her way to prepare for the festival"

Weird that I'd get a down vote for providing a translation.

Moderator: Please note she was not chasing after her mother, which implies running. She was walking after her mother and brother.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Lots of questions and no answers, just speculation. Hopefully some concrete facts can be turned up by the cops.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

"Hopefully some concrete facts can be turned up by the cops"

Don't hold your breath!!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Login to leave a comment

Facebook users

Use your Facebook account to login or register with JapanToday. By doing so, you will also receive an email inviting you to receive our news alerts.

Facebook Connect

Login with your JapanToday account

User registration

Articles, Offers & Useful Resources

A mix of what's trending on our other sites