A 2019 photo of Misaki Ogura Photo: Yamanashi prefectural police
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Mother asks public for help in finding daughter missing since 2019

26 Comments

The mother of a seven-year-old girl who went missing at Yamanashi campsite in September 2019, on Monday renewed her appeal to the public to come forward with any information that might help find out what happened to her daughter.

Misaki Ogura, from Narita in Chiba Prefecture, went missing at around 3:40 p.m. on Sept 21, at a mountainous campsite at Doshimura, Yamanashi Prefecture. Her family has so far handed out more than 430,000 flyers but no trace of her whereabouts has been found.

On Monday, Misaki’s mother Tomoko and friends of the family returned to the campsite and helped police hand out flyers at the campsite and at a nearby train station, local media reported. She told reporters that she hopes anyone with even the least bit of information will contact police. She said she desperately hopes her daughter will come back to her.

Misaki had come to the campsite with her mother and sister in a group of about 30 people. She was last seen running by herself behind some other children after eating snacks. Her mother watched 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.

More than 1,700 police, Self-Defense Force personnel and volunteers searched for her, using tracker dogs and a drone equipped with a sensor capable of detecting body heat. A stream runs through the woods down the mountain but a search downstream proved fruitless. Police also checked nearby farmhouses and empty huts.

In the two years since Misaki disappeared, Tomoko has been on the receiving hand of hateful messages online.

Last October, police in Narita City, Chiba Prefecture, arrested a 69-year-old man on suspicion of defamation of character. Yukio Nogami, a self-professed investor, posted a video image of Tomoko on his blog, claiming that a crowd-funding campaign to help keep the search going for her missing daughter Misaki was a scam, Fuji TV reported.

In August last year, police arrested a 31-year-old man from Shizuoka Prefecture for allegedly making an online threat to kill her. Katsuji Saitsu, a construction worker, posted multiple messages on Facebook from Oct 22 to Nov 16, 2019, in which he told Ogura, "I know you’re the culprit. Hurry up and turn yourself in. I'm going to kill you."

Ogura said that in addition to feeling distressed since Misaki's disappearance, she had been slandered by others on the internet and does not feel safe.

Anyone with any information on Misaki is asked to call Yamanashi prefectural police at 0554-22-0110.

© Japan Today

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26 Comments
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Such a tragic disappearance.

Where did the body go?

-3 ( +3 / -6 )

In the two years since Misaki disappeared, Tomoko has been on the receiving hand of hateful messages online.

what is wrong with social media? I guess modern people are so unhappy with their lives, that they have nothing better to do than insulting a grieving mother who is desperately looking for his daughter.

12 ( +14 / -2 )

It is the conspiracy theorists who are insulting the mother.

I read an article about a journalist visiting the home of a blogger who was insulting his mother, and the operator was a pathological person, most likely with mental problems.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

We really need something similar to the Amber alert here in Japan. When children go missing it’s essential to get a message out to the general public as soon as possible. We shouldn’t have to wait until the evening news to hear about missing children.

8 ( +10 / -2 )

Arresting conspiracy theorists will not solve the problem.

The people who are slandering the mother believe that she is guilty.

1 ( +5 / -4 )

Arresting conspiracy theorists will not solve the problem.

The people who are slandering the mother believe that she is guilty.

I’m guessing that these deranged scumbags haven’t been able to harass the grieving mother from prison anymore, so I’d say arresting them actually did solve that problem.

3 ( +6 / -3 )

Never let your children out of sight.... Not even in this safe Japan.

6 ( +10 / -4 )

Well, they never found a trace of that french woman who went missing in Nikko a few years ago either. These mountain areas of Japan are vast and dangerous. Anything could have happened.

9 ( +12 / -3 )

How tragic! To lose a child, to never know what happened, to never see her again and to have no closure. How miserable.

2 ( +5 / -3 )

Wow, by coincidence my two sons went camping in Yamanashi Pref this past weekend.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Never let your children out of sight.... Not even in this safe Japan.

It really ramps up my anxiety when I see little kids in Japan running all over busy places like train stations far away from their parents and said parents just continue casually walking many hundred meters back, seemingly without a care in the world. You couldn't do this outside if Japan. That kid's chances of being snatched would be so high.

It's the same when I see tiny kids taking the train alone here - they're so small and keep getting jostled by the crazy crowds. I would never let kids that young take public transport alone, especially in Japan where trains get horribly packed. They could get trampled.

7 ( +10 / -3 )

Never let your children out of sight.... Not even in this safe Japan.

Then you are a helicopter parent with kids who are useless when they become adults, because they've never been given the opportunity to learn how to fail.

There's a healthy balance. Find that.

-3 ( +8 / -11 )

Because she went missing in the way she did, I suspect she fell down a hole, or a well or something like that.

She was apparently in and around a large group of kids in the woods. If there was another person involved in kidnapping her, surely at least one of the other kids would've seen someone in the woods.

I can't see the parent being involved this time.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

There are two basic theories with similar probability of outcome, so why do you call one valid and the other a conspiracy? And btw, everywhere crime statistics show that most crimes happen within families, well known friends, acq

0 ( +3 / -3 )

acquaintances and the like… It’s therefore not so impossible that the involved all very well know what happened.

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

I know that campsite and area quite well, it would be difficult to get lost. They searched for weeks and found no trace. She was therefore, taken by someone.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

It is a pity search and rescue were not sent the next hours.

A trained dog would easily find her back.

Amber alert essential.

We have that in France and all cases solved.

2 ( +5 / -3 )

Why not parents let kids wear/have a small GPS transmitter when they go camping around mountains? because kidnapper may always be there.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Katsuji Saitsu, a construction worker, posted multiple messages on Facebook from Oct 22 to Nov 16, 2019, in which he told Ogura, "I know you’re the culprit. Hurry up and turn yourself in. I'm going to kill you."

A construction worker, no surprise there. Only shock is that he is able to use the internet himself. Scum. Hope he gets a long prison sentence.

Heartbreaking story that will not have a happy ending. I hope Misaki-chans family will one day have a resolution.

0 ( +4 / -4 )

A construction worker, no surprise there.

Nothing like a bit of discrimination, huh?

2 ( +5 / -3 )

 finding daughter missing since 2019

I remember this vividly. Very strange story. Looking all the different possibilities, I think a crime is most likely.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Mable

what is wrong with social media? 

They thrive on conflict. And alas, some mentally unstable individuals get so absorbed in the online mass psychosis, the lose connection to reality. Just look at the political comments here.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

arrested a 69-year-old man on suspicion of defamation of character

Laws on the book are still relevant in this day and age. Time to start vigorously using defamation, slander and other legal means against these type of people.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Just for the sake of argument, did they check all the tents and the vehicles of the other campers? I imagine an abduction could have been possible.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

I hope that someday she will be able to go back to her mother, NOTHIG is worse than losing a child like this.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Social media can be a major problem when it comes to disappearances. People posting fake tips, threats, and so on. However, as we have seen with the discovery of the missing New York women Gabby Petito in Wyoming, social media can be a helpful tool also. It was a YouTuber with a dash cam that spotted Gabby's van. Perhaps more dash cams would be helpful.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

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