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Searchers struggle with lack of clues to fate of missing 7-year-old boy

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Hope he's found okay.

9 ( +14 / -5 )

jail time for parents. to leave a 7 years old in the place that seldom people or car passed by but with bears around. that is homicide.

7 ( +15 / -8 )

“I feel very sorry for my child,” the father told an NTV reporter. “I am so sorry for causing trouble for many people.”

No please, there is no way you feel sorry for a child you abandoned in a forest. I've raised 3 children and I know the frustration levels that occur when they are uncooperative. Never, never, do you abandon a child, and then expect anyone to believe you feel sorry.

You feel sorry and embarrassed that you are now facing the music for your stupidity!

33 ( +35 / -2 )

Sadly, I fear their story is going to change again and the kid is not in the forest at all. Let's hope I am wrong.

19 ( +22 / -3 )

And the child was supposed to learn not to throw rocks at cars by leaving him behind in a bear infested forest? really? unfortunately, there are several parenting practices as or more stupid than this. I hope the child is found for the good sake of the child, although I wouldn't return him to those parents.

8 ( +10 / -2 )

Well Mowgli was adopted by a bear so here is hope the little dude survives.

Seriously, am infuriated by parents very poor judgement and stupid decision to teach their kid a lesson but at the same I cant help but feel sorry for them. They must feel awful right now and I hope they'll get a chance to tell their kid how sorry they are.

1 ( +8 / -7 )

I see a double suicide happening if the child is found dead.

-12 ( +2 / -14 )

Can't put my finger on it but it seems that the parents still aren't telling the truth.: he couldn't have gone far in those few minutes he was left alone.

The danger of bears is exaggerated ... Japanese love to get hysterical over bears.

17 ( +19 / -2 )

SpeedMAY. 31, 2016 - 07:42AM JST I see a double suicide happening if the child is found dead.

If the kid's dead, he was probably dead before his parents left...

13 ( +14 / -1 )

The kid is not where they are telling the authorities to look. Probably murdered him and dumped the body somewhere far away.

15 ( +20 / -5 )

Readers, please refrain from speculating that the boy was murdered.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Can't put my finger on it but it seems that the parents still aren't telling the truth.: he couldn't have gone far in those few minutes he was left alone.

This! They kicked him out of the car first time, drove 10 meters and let him back in. Then they drove again for a couple of meters and kicked him out again a SECOND time (which is mind boggling) and then they drove about 500 meters (according to the parents), they went back again and couldnt find him? This story is getting fishier with the day.

16 ( +16 / -0 )

The police need to interview the older sister, away from the parents and with the interview conducted by a female detective familiar with child abuse cases. The story (stories) told by the parents just don't add up.

20 ( +20 / -0 )

Wow... These parents made a huge mistake that may killed their son. Hopefully he is found alive.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

The parents feel terrible now, but I'm sure they never expected this outcome, and if they can turn back time, they wouldn't choose to do the same thing.

As for the child, my guess is that he wandered off and got lost. Let's hope he's found alive before he succumbs to the elements.

1 ( +6 / -5 )

I guess now we can only hope that some kind soul picked him up on the road and has been looking after him. Any other line of thought doesn't hold out much hope. I still hope they find him alive and well though.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Personally I would not Dare drive 500 meters away from my precious son and leave him alone in any place on earth. They are not good people nor are they even to be considered parents. What kind of conscience leaves a child alone in place not familiar to the child.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

a case of 神隠し plain and simple ...

0 ( +3 / -3 )

"call of the wild" you need lara croft 'tomb raider' for help.

-13 ( +2 / -15 )

I am not sure how they could fail to find at least a trail assuming they have dogs on the case but stranger things have happened. Dingoes really did eat a poor baby https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Death_of_Azaria_Chamberlain and Yamato may really have been killed by bears. But the lack of emotion and downward gaze of the father, who is facing a tragedy of immense proportion in any event (now non blurred) https://youtu.be/nPo4xrkCPMA?t=2m30s is perplexing. Lindy Chamberlain can't talk about her child, 30 years on https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_ynw-1xMNmE.

4 ( +7 / -3 )

There may be more dynamics at play here. Maybe the boy ran away and/or maybe someone else picked him up. The longer he is not found the more the scenarios grow

2 ( +3 / -1 )

I can't believe the boy was throwing stones at cars and people. What a brat! Seven years old is not that young. Maybe he had some mental/development issue.

The parents should be blamed for not raising him properly or at least not putting him in a straitjacket.

-12 ( +5 / -17 )

Police said they will look into filing neglect charges against the boy’s parents, according to Kyodo.

Don't look into it, do it. And while they're at it, remove the sister from the care of the parents, question her and insist these two morons are never allowed to have another child in their care again.

I hope this is a huge wake up call to some of the parents in this country who seem to think throwing their kids outside or on the balcony alone and in the cold is a good punishment. It isn't. It's abuse.

7 ( +8 / -1 )

timtak, they have dogs, and police on horseback. I can't figure out why there's absolutely no trace of him, either. Heavy rain did fall on Sunday night (I think it was) so maybe that ruined an scent trail.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Very sad. I agree that there seems to be more to this story. For example, I doubt the child would leave the road. He would probably walk towards the car's direction.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

. I can't believe the boy was throwing stones at cars and people.

'In the direction of cars and other people', according to the news. He wasn't even close to hitting anything. Ever just randomly tossed a stoneground picked up? May be bratty behavior, but does it deserve a possible death sentence?

2 ( +3 / -1 )

I don't know about murdered but if he is in that forest he will be in a bad condition due to lack of Water & Food.

I do hope that he is found safe and healthy.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Surely the boy would have still been around that area if they returned to him a few minutes later, did he not want to be found?

2 ( +3 / -1 )

A 7-year old is probably very scared of being alone, especially in the dark. He definitely would not go into a forest where it's more scary. He has no ideas of attacking bears. He was picked up...if indeed the story is true. Parents might have done something totally different. Forget the forest. Nice decoy, wasting endless hours of police time in a wild goose chase. In my mind, someone has the boy.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Surely the boy would have still been around that area if they returned to him a few minutes later, did he not want to be found?

Surely a 7-year old boy is 7-years old and will not know what will surely happen.

-2 ( +4 / -6 )

I hope they lock the parents up for years and the boys is found safe.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

I agree with other posters the sister needs to be interrogated without parents present. The parents need to be interrogated one by one too. In this case the police has to be more aggressive as the father lied from the start.

11 ( +12 / -1 )

Rescue/Police helicopters have infra-red sensors that could easily pick out this boy from the vegetation. Even satellites have the infra-red capability. Story seems a little iffy to me.

4 ( +7 / -3 )

I can't believe the boy was throwing stones at cars and people. What a brat!

The boy is missing and possible dead. Maybe you should think before posting. Even assuming he was throwing rocks at cars, as his parents said, it's not surprising that a boy with parents this idiotic and heartless would have behavioral problems.

9 ( +11 / -2 )

Did the helicopters not use thermal cameras? How have they not found him yet!? He should have found a few puddles to drink if it rained, and while he'd be starving but he should still be alive. Poor boy must be terrified. Sure throwing rocks is extremely naughty but what an utterly idiotic punishment.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

Nobody here did anything dumb when they were 7?

6 ( +10 / -4 )

It is time to use high tech machinery to locate his heat image......

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Down-vote all you want, but people are trashing a 7-year-old...

Why not say something, instead of just going down the whole thread down-voting? You're in favor of people calling a 7-year-old who threw a rock a brat?

3 ( +7 / -4 )

How many days and nights now? With temps getting below 9 degrees and rain, no carbs or protein, I'm sorry to say that this poor lad has died from hypothermia.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

As ever, I hope the boy is safe.

As a silver lining, it's good to see that the Japanese reaction to this is outrage. There is a school of thought in Japan that strict discipline is good, and that's what has lead to this. The parents pulled this stunt because they thought discipline was more important than any (short-term according to them) danger from leaving their child.

Just tracing this incident back, but the parents did this at about 5pm after they'd been doing something outdoors with their children. Apparently the boy was acting up and throwing stones, which is unacceptable, and probably not listening to any talking to he was being given. That's upsetting if you're the parent, but it's 5pm and he might have been out all day. He's probably going to be tired and a bit hungry, and tired and hungry boys tend to act up. Irritability and bad behaviour should be expected. The big mistake in this situation is to think that there is some "silver bullet" form of discipline that will work on every child and take you back to happy families. Anyone suggesting there is on tv or in books is selling snake oil. At this point, I think you should loosen the reins, not tighten them. Save discipline for when your kids are alert and they will listen.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

This is indeed confusing.

If the parents got back to where they left the boy as they said, why would there be no trace of him? Would a kid vanish completely within a few minutes? If a bear would have jumped to the opportunity of an easy meal, wouldn't he left any traces as well? Why has the sister not been questioned so far?

My parents used to tease me when I misbehaved, "We're going to leave you in the woods!" - a prospect I found so thrilling (but not threatening, I saw it as an encouragement for nature studies) that I learned everything I could about survival, even at the age of 7. They could have left me for days and I would have stayed alive - dirty, hungry, but fine. Of course they never did.

What's gone wrong here? I think there's more to the story than reported.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

"Police said they will look into filing neglect charges against the boy’s parents, according to Kyodo."

Why am I not surprised? I suppose there real surprise would be if they actually DID anything. Anyway, they'll likely be put under immense pressure to charge the parents for SOMETHING at some point, as already this has become huge news overseas. I got an email this morning from a friend asking, "Is this really how they punish kids in Japan?" and I think it's exactly that sort of huge embarrassment that will get the proper people to finally act. The daughter needs to be taken away from the parents immediately, for starters. The parents need to be jailed, second.

Anyway, I'm afraid to say I doubt they're going to find the kid alive, and I think it's because the parents are lying about other things, too.

4 ( +9 / -5 )

Well.... as I said before, the kid is by now most certainly dead.... Unless of course he is being taken by someone.... but then again...

Any way, the "punishment" the parents did, based on the information that it is public, was not uncommon though it was executed badly.

If you "leave a child" in some place as a punishment, the parents should "left" the child to give him the illusion to be left alone but in reality the parents should have keep and eye all the time watching from some distance or hiding near by. Also, it is not recommended to do it in the woods, an open space with good view should be the normal choice.

Now, for the punishment itself, I don't think the parents are some sort of criminals, as some people are trying to imply. They got it wrong that ended terribly, but what parent hasn't done some sort of punishment or act that he/she regrets for doing it?.. parents are humans too, we err.

Don't be so hast in pointing accusing fingers people.

-3 ( +4 / -7 )

Living in a semi-rural area, across from a wooded park, I've heard cries from young kids more than once. My J wife says this is a trad. method of straightening out naughty kids. It hurt to hear those cries. And now look what happens. Horrible.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

If the parents got back to where they left the boy as they said, why would there be no trace of him? Would a kid vanish completely within a few minutes? If a bear would have jumped to the opportunity of an easy meal, wouldn't he left any traces as well? Why has the sister not been questioned so far?

I think it's a case of them waiting a lot more than 5 minutes before going back after him. We don't know that the sister hasn't been questioned, they don't report everything, and they sure aren't going to publicize the comments of a minor.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Are the police certain, that the parents showed them the right spot where they left him? If they lied before........

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Unfortunately for this boy, even if he is found, he will suffer from a sense of abandonment for the rest of his life. This feeling will effect all of his interpersonal relationships forever. It's not something I wish on anyone.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Sadly I'm also very suspicious. The sister should be taken into protective custody for the time being and gently questioned if possible. The parents should also be questioned separately.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Daniel Neagari: "Now, for the punishment itself, I don't think the parents are some sort of criminals, as some people are trying to imply."

They left the child alone, in a somewhat dangerous area (given the bears), without supervision. You yourself said the boy is likely dead. How is that NOT criminal, Daniel? This isn't an "oops!" moment when the kid turns up dead, it is manslaughter at BEST.

"They got it wrong that ended terribly, but what parent hasn't done some sort of punishment or act that he/she regrets for doing it?"

Awww... they "got it wrong", did they? And the only cost is a child's life. You're right, Daniel... they shouldn't be given criminal charges. They should be given pity, so any other parent can do the same and nothing be done about it.

"Don't be so hast in pointing accusing fingers people."

I think it's very easy where to point the blame, Daniel, especially given the fact that they already lied about what they did to seek pity and help. Perhaps if the fingers had been pointed earlier, this would not have happened. But what YOU want is to see zero punishment -- that the suffering of these parents is enough, I suppose. It is not. The kid would still be alive if not for the stupidity of these people, and the inhumane way they treated the child the disgusting father claims he loves and misses.

Sorry, Daniel, but if we don't point fingers where they belong, and do nothing about this, this kind of punishment, as you yourself have said is 'not unusual', will go on, and we'll be reading about this again.

PUT THEM IN JAIL.

2 ( +7 / -5 )

So is the older daughter still living with the parents? I'm almost certain if this situation occurred in other countries, the other child would be taken into protective custody whilst enquiries continue at least.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

if you've got a 7 yr old with the parents driving away (even for a short distance), i would imagine a 7 yr old frantically trying to run after the car, quickly getting turned around, and hysterically running in circles. a 7 yr old would walk the wrong way and be totally lost in about 10 minutes. if they drove back right away and called to him, he wouldn't be out of earshot so quickly. so i'm thinking they drove away for 15 minutes or so. otherwise, when they came back he would have heard them calling and they would have heard him calling back to them. i sure hope he's found soon - safe and sound.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

No sign of missing 7-year-old boy as public outrage grows

This story has been covered internationally now. A very uncomfortable spotlight is shining on Japan, and parenting practices, at the moment. I hope the little boy is found safe and unharmed.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

I have to say that he should have been found by now.

I wont cast the first stone or jump to conclusions but there must be more to this than what has already been said.

He couldn't just disappear.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

First, it' is impossible to leave no clue for a 7 year old boy from a known place(kid is not Rambo). Parents must have lied. But lying does not mean guilty of anything... Secondly, this is indeed typically Japanese style how to punish. No explanation to kid. Just humiliationabandonment practice. Personally, I would have smacked my kid so he would not dare throw a stone again. Last, this is survival of the fittest. If kid cannot make it, no problem since he was a "brat" and could not wait a few minutes on the side of the road. That is what think inside most Japanese (honmae). And seriously, we all agree there is again an obvious lack of info that there is some truth hidden from the media. Without knowing any details (that could save the boy by the way), it is impossible to give any sensible judgment so far.

0 ( +5 / -5 )

Claire Yoshida:

" Did the helicopters not use thermal cameras? How have they not found him yet!? "

They´d only work if he is alive. And even then, a 7 year old is a pretty small target.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

...because leaving your child on the wilderness makes them a better 7 yr old kid???

3 ( +4 / -1 )

“I feel very sorry for my child,” the father told an NTV reporter. “I am so sorry for causing trouble for many people.”

More like sorry I'm such an idiot of a father

0 ( +1 / -1 )

And I haven't heard about anyone coming forward to say that some kid threw rocks at them while they were on that mountain. Kinda hard to just take the parents' word for it with such glaring inconsistencies as changing their stories and (possibly?) no witnesses to corroborate their claim as to what preceeded the child going missing.

But again, gotta use qualifiers here. I just haven't heard of witnesses coming forward, and don't you think any witnesses (even those just claiming to be witnesses who were never there) would be perfect for journalists to interview?

2 ( +3 / -1 )

I'm not sure the stone-throwing matters. You can discipline your kids for a whole host of things. The point is that you are not supposed to endanger them, as this punishment did.

fwiw, I would agree with the posters saying that this is the inaka extreme disciplinarian version of the naughty step. I suspect that it mostly gets used in threats, but threatening kids with stuff you never actually do, or which would be dangerous and irresponsible to then actually carry out, is pretty dim in my book. So I'm pleased there is a Japanese backlash against it. I suspect there are older inaka people out there who must have done this to their own kids and are sympathetic to the parents.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Another thing I don´t understand is why I don´t see dogs in the TV reports? I thought this would be precisely the case where a dog would be useful. You know the location, and surely there a plenty of things they can show the dog to pick up the scent. Anybody knows?

3 ( +3 / -0 )

First they lost him, Now they saying they put him out off the car on a deserted forest rd. No way the young boy would of walk off the road into thick bush. This story is just what it is, a story. The daughter is older maybe 8 years or older. I bet she can add more information about her missing brother.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

I'm also of the opinion that the parents seem to be hiding something. Either they left him alone for a lot longer than they said and he really did get lost (or taken), or they have done something to him and this is their cover story. I can't really see a happy outcome at this point, even if they are telling the truth. Sad.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

I just feel for the boy. To be left like that by the people who should love and protect you the most must have been heart breaking as well as incredibly frightening. I just hope beyond hope that they find him alive and ok

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Did the helicopters not use thermal cameras? How have they not found him yet!? "

They´d only work if he is alive. And even then, a 7 year old is a pretty small target.

It may also not work if he is alive. People go missing in the woods and are not found for days even with search parties. It happens.

No way the young boy would of walk off the road into thick bush.

Some kids might. Or he might have gone somewhere people haven't noticed. Or any of a number of other possibilities.

-4 ( +3 / -7 )

And I haven't heard about anyone coming forward to say that some kid threw rocks at them while they were on that mountain.

He threw rocks at a park they were at, before they took him to the mountain.

Another thing I don´t understand is why I don´t see dogs in the TV reports? I thought this would be precisely the case where a dog would be useful.

They are using dogs. They also have police on horseback for going into denser areas. It rained like hell Sunday night, there may be no trail for the dogs.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

I was thinking that these types of punishments must surely be the reason for the high number of suicides and mental illness that I see in Japan.....

2 ( +2 / -0 )

@Smith...

I am only saying that people should not be so eager to jump in to conclusions... you know accusing the parents as "criminals" already?... neglect maybe..

Yes... the OOOPS I LOST MY CHILD, is in fact a quite common thing in this world... sadly...

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Commanteer, I did think before I posted. Hence, the conclusion that a kid who throws rocks at or in the direction of people is a BRAT. What would you call him? An angel?

Does he deserve to die? No. Did he deserve to be punished? You betcha.

And as for an indictment of all parents in Japan? Nope. A couple of bad apples (the parents) do not ruin the whole crop.

My guess is the situation in the car got out of hand. The boy was being a brat. The parents told him to stop. He screamed his head off. The parents kicked him out and drove off. In the end, maybe the boy was so steamed that he decided to teach mommy and daddy a lesson by walking off. 99% of the time, the kid (that age) would not just walk off.

Advice on how to control a kid who throws rocks at people would be more than welcome.

5 ( +8 / -3 )

Last, this is survival of the fittest. If kid cannot make it, no problem since he was a "brat" and could not wait a few minutes on the side of the road. That is what think inside most Japanese (honmae).

Really? Got evidence of that?

The parents are at best idiots, and at worst... well I don't want to think about that. Seriously, who would punish a child by leaving them in a forest and driving away? That isn't punishment, it's abandonment. Child abuse. The daughter needs to be taken to a foster home ASAP and the parents into custody.

On the point of shaming Japan, one case like this won't shine a negative light on Japan. There are abuse cases all over the world... those countries aren't seen as terrible places to bring up kids.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Just did a check, it seems sniffer dogs are still able to pick up a trail after rain, as long as it is not left too long, days/weeks.

I think the daughter needs to be questioned on this also, and an appeal to hava anyone who had rocks thrown at them to come forward, that shouldn't be too difficult.

Mitsuru Wakayama, a spokesman for the nearby town of Nanae, said local residents only occasionally pass through the mountainous area as a short cut.

I have to admit, I'm very sceptic about the parents story at this point, I'm just wondering if this is a smokescreen.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

@Jalapeno

I would upvote you more if I could

0 ( +3 / -3 )

the conclusion that a kid who throws rocks at or in the direction of people is a BRAT.

Really? You can conclude this without being there, by the points in this story? Please tell us how you determined that he knew there were people and cars in the direction he was throwing them, and that he was throwing the rocks with the intent to hit the people and/or cars.

-3 ( +3 / -6 )

Advice on how to control a kid who throws rocks at people would be more than welcome

you would likely tell the boy that actions have consequences and as a consequence of throwing stones at cars and people he will not be doing something that he really enjoys. Certainly if you were trying to scare him you'd pretend to leave him behind but most certainly not do so. What they did is simple child endangerment and abuse. If this is their typical parenting skill the young lad may have been emotional damaged already. Poor little bugger, I hope he turns up. Suspect not though.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Advice on how to control a kid who throws rocks at people would be more than welcome.

Calm down. Think. Is the child bored, tired, hungry, seeking attention etc. Instead of standing there screaming and prolonging any conflict going nowhere, try to move onto something else. As punishment, remove privileges. Only make threats you are prepared to carry out. Remember there is no silver bullet. Anyone who expects their own personality or their child's personality to change as a result of one "that'll show him" disciplinary measure is naive at best. Rome wasn't built in a day.

I also suspect the "throwing stones" story is being exaggerated by the parents who are completely ashamed and/or hiding something, but either way, it doesn't matter. It's what they did that matters.

fwiw, their neighbours have spoken well of them and the boy, so this sounds like not actually bad people having done something awful due to heat of the moment against a backdrop of prevailing misconceptions about disciplining kids. To me, that is more tragic than something done by a habitual abuser.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

He couldn't just disappear.

He could. For starters, it's a huge national park with large wilderness areas and water spots. And bears bury their kills for later.

In Hokkaido, unless it's winter, you're hiking on the trail or your not hiking at all. It's very tough terrain to bushwhack, and the sasa covers everything.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Daniel Neagari: "I am only saying that people should not be so eager to jump in to conclusions... you know accusing the parents as "criminals" already?... neglect maybe.."

Accusing them of murder is jumping to conclusions, albeit if the kid is found dead it should at the very least be manslaughter for them, but calling them criminal is not jumping to conclusions at all. They abandoned their child; that is a crime. They abandoned the child in a dangerous area. That is worse. They ARE criminals, so calling them as such is not at all out of the question, nor jumping the gun. You suggesting we do NOT call them criminals and that, "Gosh, it happens!" is part of the problem, Daniel.

Now, on top of everything else, how much money do you think these stupid parents have cost us in taxes? Scores of helicopters, police, emergency units, and more for days going through the mountains, not even taking into account the worry placed on the nation and volunteers searching for the boy out of the goodness of their hearts. They should be billed every single cent on top of doing some jail time.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

The parents were negligent to leave their child in such an area, no matter what they say their justification is. There are many methods of discipline, but leaving the child in the woods is probably the worst option. Hopefully the child will be found health and safe. This is not the time or place for frivolous banter.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

What if the boy was never in the woods, but dead, and the parents made up a story to cover up.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

My guess is the situation in the car got out of hand. The boy was being a brat. The parents told him to stop. He screamed his head off. The parents kicked him out and drove off.

They were playing at a park with a wading creek. The kid picked up some small stones. Approaching the parking lot he threw the stones. The loaded everybody in the car and on the way home pulled over and made him get out. When they drove away he started running after the car, crying. The let him in the car, then decided to make him get out again.

Even if it happened exactly as you say was making him get out of the car in a wild area with BEARS an appropriate punishment? My son sometimes got out of hand at 5, or 7, he got tired or cranky, but I never abandoned him!

TokyoGeordie, thanks for checking that! I wondered if the heavy rain might have messed up the search, because the dogs are finding nothing.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

The more you hear about this the more and more it seems like the kid was never in the forest to begin with. I hope they also checked the area around the creek that they were supposedly playing in. At this point, though, you can't believe a word the stupid parents say.

9 ( +10 / -1 )

Not only the possible attack of a bear, but what if another car came by and took him away. It's not just the animal to worry about. Also, it's quite possible these people (I can't bring myself to call the parents or anything resembling that) could've killed him and dumped his body. There are too many ways to go, and I fear the outcome, with this much time passed, is going to be grim.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

I hope they also checked the area around the creek that they were supposedly playing in

It's just ankle deep, man-made, it's for kids.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Talk to the sister. She knows.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

They just called off the search for today about an hour and a half ago.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

@QueenBee Hall's idea of another vehicle is a more plausible scenario.

In the ten minutes the parents and sister were out of site, the boy could not have gone far, say 200m, on his own. Out of fear, he would have stuck to the road.

Bears are omnivorous, eating both plants and animals. However, bears mostly actively hunt small animals, such as groundhogs and mice. They will gnaw on a carcass if they run across one. Bears will only attack a human if it feels threatened or surprised. Mother bears will attack anything if she feels her cubs are in danger.

This being said, a crying child is as good a bear bell as any. Bears have good hearing and will avoid crossing paths with the boy.

A wild animal attack would have left remains of the body and clothing behind. Nothing had been found in the vicinity of the drop-off point.

A more likely situation is that another vehicle, either travelling in the same direction or opposite, came across the boy and picked him up.

Upon hearing the boy's story, decided to take care of him.

My only thought, is that some child predator wasn't the one...

1 ( +3 / -2 )

There a a lot of other issues at play here, and the longer it takes to find this boy or any trace of him, me thinks that the parents are hiding something that they have yet to share with the police.

Tracking dogs, helicopters, the police and people searching the area? There should be traces, it's not as if a child is going to be covering their tracks, and while attempting to find the child is like looking for a needle in a hay stack, I am starting to think that there is more going on here than has been reported so far, I sincerely hope that is not the truth.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

"They just called off the search for today..."

Three full days of searching and no trace found. There is your SEVENTY-TWO HOURS right there, after which there is usually not much hope of finding the child alive.

At this point, it is usual for the police to change the focus of the investigation and speak again to the witnesses, starting with the last person to see the child alive.

And that would be the father!!

7 ( +7 / -0 )

And bears bury their kills for later.

According to today's news reports (both Japanese and international), searchers have found fresh bear droppings in the area.

A very uncomfortable spotlight is shining on Japan, and parenting practices, at the moment.

This is very true. This story is up on the Guardian and Daily Mail sites, and a few of my horrified friends back home have asked me about it. I hasten to assure them that abandoning children in forests is not common practice in Japan at all. However, older Japanese friends have told me awful stories about childhood punishments that shocked me to the core.

I hope the little boy is found safe and unharmed.

Me too. All children are precious, but Japan in particular can ill-afford to lose the few that it has.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

I think it's important not to jump to conclusions even though it's starting to look a bit suspicious. It reminds me of the Lindy Chamberlain case in Australia, (better known as 'the dingo ate my baby' case). She was convicted of murder since the police couldn't find any physical evidence whatsoever to support her claim. But years later they stumbled across the baby's clothes in a dingo lair some distance from the scene and she was eventually released from prison.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Got a feeling this is all going to unravel in the next few days with everything the father said a lie.

Saw his strange interview on TV and he didn't look too heartbroken at all.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

I am thinking this kind of situation will be a good example on how Swarm robotics could be used to develop hundred of octopods robots or little flying drones, doing a full combined path searching of an area, 24/24.

-6 ( +1 / -7 )

Citizen, if you're flying above the sasa, you won't see much. If you're flying below the sasa, you're not flying.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

These people and their whole story simply stink of no good. But I'll keep my theories to myself. I am curious though...why weren't tracking dogs brought in before (A) it had rained heavily and (B) before the area was saturated with the scents of a large group of searchers?

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Yadda yadda yadda, suspended sentence after they find the body

0 ( +0 / -0 )

They need no clues. The family knows very well where the boy's remains are located. A boy left in the woods would follow the parents car. Odds are he be found.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

I agree. The sister should be questioned separately. Her parents have likely threatened her into silence.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

If the parents got back to where they left the boy as they said, why would there be no trace of him? Would a kid vanish completely within a few minutes?

If he panicked, yes, he could have, and panic would be a normal reaction to seeing his parents drive off. The last thing a young child should do in that situation is leave the road, but few children that young are capable of careful rationalization, and they're used to being with (and protected by) their parents. Once you get into the trees, you can become disoriented in no time.

Since no one except the parents, if even them, knows how many minutes they were away, it's also possible he saw or heard some large wildlife - deer, boar, or bear is all possible - that scared the crap out of him and made him run. That would be one way to get very lost.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

The poor boy. I can just imagine him becoming scared and disorientated when the car was out of sight. He might have followed the road in the wrong direction... easily done. ... strange area, looking around, no sense of direction. I just hope they find him safe and sound.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

I am thinking this kind of situation will be a good example on how Swarm robotics could be used to develop hundred of octopods robots or little flying drones, doing a full combined path searching of an area, 24/24.

Oh dear god....

2 ( +4 / -2 )

How do we even know the wife and daughter were actually with the father? That`s just what the father said. The news said tonight that the daughter said that the boy and his father went into the forest. New rumors popping up. The father told the police to search in a specific area. Something fishy.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

This really is bizarre story. Surely Japanese police helicopters have thermal imaging. Have the police pulled the cell phone records of the parents to establish their location over the prior days? Have they interviewed the family separately? Have they pulled CCTV images of the family's route? Have they corroborated the stone throwing with other people in the area? Have they searched the parents' house and garden as well as other local areas? Really while I wouldn't accuse the parents of murder, situations like this around the world sadly often turn out to be far from the straight forward explanation the parents offer. The risk of kidnap by a 3rd party is small but not non-existent. The child may also have been knocked down. I really hope the police are being more savvy and competent than it's coming across.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Clues are to be found with the parents. They no better where the boy is. A child left in a forest would likely follow the way his parents took off. The police should tie the knot around the parent's neck instead of wasting time in the wild.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

I am thinking this kind of situation will be a good example on how Swarm robotics could be used to develop hundred of octopods robots or little flying drones, doing a full combined path searching of an area, 24/24.

24 hours a day / 24 days a week ?

2 ( +2 / -0 )

This is so sad. I really hope they find the boy alive but I think this is now becoming very unlikely.

What I don't understand is how they can have failed to find him. I am assuming they are using tracking dogs and helicopters with thermal cameras. The boy isn't running away and hiding - so why haven't they found him? When this is over they need to seriously review their search techniques.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

With the low temp and heavy rain he will be hard to track by Dogs and thermal imaging as he most likely got soaked reducing his temp close to the surroundings.

This is now the 4th night that he is missing, doubt he found a stream to drink from or had any food since Saturday.

I grew up partly in the countryside and know most edible fruits, Glover and Berries.

Hate to say it but 4 nights and 3 days in the wild, IMHO, the changes of finding him alive are slim by now.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Wow. No evidence. Nobody saw the kid but the parents, and the parents were angry with the kid and had a story whereby they just lost track of him? Of course one cannot "speculate that the boy was murdered," but I wonder who else had motive, opportunity, and means to make this boy disappear without a trace. There might be a very good reason that there is no trace of him. Somebody did not intend for any evidence to be found. But what is more likely? Child murderers are running rampant in Japan's national parks and just pounced on this kid.... or that he was killed by someone who knew him and someone made up a story to protect the murderer?

If it happened exactly as the parents said it did, then I have a prediction based on many such cases in the US in national forests. They will find the boy in a rugged area without shoes and with many of his clothes discarded despite hypothermia. He will likely have died of exposure, dehydration, or injury from a fall, possibly near a cliff or high area. If thermal sensing has not found him, then he is either sheltering or his body has reached ambient temperature already. Unfortunately, if he has sheltered effectively, he might never be found. Shelter or not, he cannot survive for long. If he has ascended to rugged areas, as many children do, he will be further from water and will be even more exposed to cold.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Leave him alone in the corner when you get home. You don't leave him defenseless on the side of the road near the forest for a few minutes....not even for ten seconds. As they now realize, anything can happen in a short amount of time. I hope this child is found safely. That's not punishment; that's neglect.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Forgot to add the heavy rains would have erased his tracks making it tough for the search dogs.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

A researcher in the US named David Paulides has done some investigation of similar cases. Although I am not inclined to agree with this conclusions, or lack thereof, he nevertheless has amassed a lot of information on such cases. Anyone can have a look. Kids disappear like this all the time, and they have been for decades. And they tend to do the same things.

If the child has followed a very common pattern of behavior, searchers are probably looking in the wrong places because they have jumped to conclusions that don't fit the child's likely actions. Dogs won't find him and the thermal imaging will not help.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

I thought at first how cruel it was of the parents to leave a poor child there with bears and other dangers around to hurt or kill the poor child. I now think the scumbag parents did not leave him there they have murdered him themselves and disposed of his body. The parents are acting very strange and telling lies and I have no doubt now that these are evil nasty people who should have charges brought against them and they should be given the death penalty. That poor poor boy what he must of gone through and they are taking the kind hearted people who have helped this search for idiots. I really hope I'm wrong and I hope he is found safe and unharmed and he can tell the police exactly what's happened so they get the real version not the one the scumbags are making up. I pray he is found alive and if he is the parents should be charged with everything possible but if it's not good news or no body is found then they should face the death penalty. I think the authorities need to wake up now and start looking at the bigger picture. I do pray though he is safe and found quick.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

The parents should have been arrested (for abandoning a body as they usually say) from the minute they changed the story. Sorry, but your kid disappears, you are a suspect, the first suspect. Your whole family and entourage is suspect and has to be investigated. That's for the sake of the kid. Hopefully you can be cleared later when the kid is found. Then if you've lied to the police, you are more than a suspect...

Child murderers are running rampant in Japan's national parks

Statitiscally, they are way more rampant in Japan's families. There was a ressembling case in France (a little girl called Fiona), the mother said she ran away from a park near the woods while she napped "only 5 minutes". She went crying to the other families in the park : "help me find my little girl", cried on TV, etc. Everybody sympathizes and feels "could be my kid/grandkids/nephews...kids run away, get abducted...". Thousands of people volunteered for the search, there were dogs, helipcopters, high tech army gadgets, they've left no stone unturned. They did the international missing kid alert and all. The only 2 things the police ever found is that the kid was never taken to the woods, that she had not left the family house alive.

Her parents have likely threatened her into silence.

They can also use her. It's possible she knows nothing, but they showed her they were taking the boy to the woods... so she will be their alibi.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Do they not have sniffer dogs in Japan? Seems bloodhounds would be able to pick up the scent.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Something about this story isn't adding up. Parents are concealing something else. I don't know what, but there is another issue.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

There is discipline and there is abuse. This constitutes as abuse, if it really happened. The fact, however, that nobody's been able to find this little one for quite awhile, now, leads me, personally, to speculate that the male and female birthers (can't call them parents) are hiding something. I hope the boy is found and found to be in good shape and otherwise in a healthy condition.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

All above posts make no sense now,lets find the boy first as top priority,then we can say what we want.

-8 ( +0 / -8 )

I hate to expect the worst but there's no way this kid is alive now. This is a body recovery mission now.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

If you act with "reckless disregard" (as in leaving a child alone in the woods) and that action results in death, then you would be on trial for murder (in the States). But in Japan, where many (including judges) treat children as property and not humans, nothing much will happen to them

1 ( +1 / -0 )

I agree with "Disillusioned"... one of the parents... if not both, is lying.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I am not convinced with the parents story. They lied once, he may not even be there. I have a feeling there is something more sinister going on. The older sister might be able to shed light. I hope I am wrong and this poor child turns up.poor boy.????????

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Were the parents trying to make Survivor: Child in the Forest episode?

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

There is no way this kid is in the forest. If the parents' story is true, the kid was only in the forest for a short time before the search began and he should have been found shortly after. Finding no trace of him in a relatively small area has to mean their story is malarky.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

There is no way this kid is in the forest. If the parents' story is true, the kid was only in the forest for a short time before the search began and he should have been found shortly after. Finding no trace of him in a relatively small area has to mean their story is malarky.

Yeah, but the real world doesn't work like that. Sometimes it's hard to find people, even with lots of searchers. I read a story recently of a body that was found 2 years after searchers had scoured the exact area in which the body was found. And Hokkaido is not a relatively small area.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

Do they not have sniffer dogs in Japan? Seems bloodhounds would be able to pick up the scent.

Yes they have sniffer dogs, and the lack of a scent lead searchers to speculate that the boy was not actually where they say he was left. After 3 nights on the mountain without food water and most importantly shelter this has become a recovery operation I fear.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Some jail time for these irresponsible parents will fit as a glove.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Coskuri. Way to take my comment out of context and totally miss the point. Here is what I said. "But what is more likely? Child murderers are running rampant in Japan's national parks and just pounced on this kid.... or that he was killed by someone who knew him and someone made up a story to protect the murderer?" Please also note that this thread has been moderated to prohibit speculation that the child was murdered. Therefore, I posed a rhetorical question, void of speculation or assertion and therefore not likely to be deleted by moderators, intended to emphasize the absurdity of the child being abducted by some third party.

I think you missed the nuanced presentation.

Here is a facile comment. "All above posts make no sense now,lets find the boy first as top priority,then we can say what we want." I disagree. I think that either the boy will not be found because someone does not want him to be found, or he will be found in a state that most people will not be able to explain, leaving more questions than answers, UNLESS you understand what kids usually do in this situation. He hiked up, not down, and he sheltered instead of looking for help or rescue. He will therefore be dehydrated in the middle of a marshland, and he will be invisible to thermal detection. They will find his clothes before they find him, contra-indicating a bear attack and suggesting hypothermia.

Simply saying that nobody can do anything until a body is found is silly. If the body is never found, do we just forget about it?

Interview the family before they clam up or lawyer up.

Strangerland, oh yes. The real world DOES work like that. Are you going to refute me with an anecdote? Seriously? Everyone go GOOGLE David Paulides. He has hundreds of cases like this. Not the single one Strangerland mentions. "Sometimes it is hard to find people." Yes. We know that. And I also said that they are probably not even looking in the right place. I fail to see how you are describing "the real world" and I am not. Maybe you can enlighten me AFTER you have reviewed about 100 case reports, and please emphasize child behaviour in your study. You will also see in my comments that I had to be careful to avoid talking about the child being dead or murdered to keep my comments from being censored by moderators.

And I mentioned specifics. I am not willing to throw up my hands and say they won't find him because "it is hard." I explained WHY they are not likely to find him. Can you add to that somehow? Your anecdote does not do so. Your anecdote simply describes an ineffective search with no specifics.

Finally, you make sure to remind me that "Hokkaido is not a small area." No kidding. But they aren't searching all of Hokkaido, are they? And the kid is too young to have fled to Obihiro on a motorcycle. I would bet that they are searching a radius of 10 km or less, and they are emphasizing lower areas and are using infrared. I don't think they will find him doing that, even assuming the parents are telling the truth.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Why not hire bomb sniffing dog? Gave (the dog) piece of boys cloth and let the dog find him.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

sn00z3:

Several posters said that they ARE using dogs. (Although I did not see any in the TV reports.) But lets be real ... dogs have incredible noses, but how much scent is realistically left after a night of heavy rain?

1 ( +1 / -0 )

A seven-year old left on a road would walk down the road in the direction the car that his family is in had gone. It is completely counter-intuitive that he would strike out into the dark and forbidding forest. The probability of a bear coming along in the less than 10 minutes the family claims to have left him, killing him (no blood on the ground) and dragging him away (again, no blood on the ground) is incredibly small. It's also not really how bears behave. I suspect this will develop into something other than how the parents have been describing it.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

All that water around, he probably won't be found, so sad

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Police have said they are considering filing neglect charges against his parents

Good god!

What's to consider?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Well, this is just too strange. I don't believe the is lost in the woods because too much doesn't add up. The parents... As they say, if it walks like a duck and quacks like a duck, it's most likely a duck. And here there is just too much that is just too odd. I say foul play.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

I do not think that he will be found except by thorough looking: 1) in the snow he would have smartly left us a clue --> where the helicopters could see him. (open roads, back towards the camp/park), ahead of bear tracks). I repeat anywhere, where he would think we could see him, or safe in a cave. Send about a thousand more (ideally, everyone) to search. I think there is still mercy, not unforgivable, sin, for the parents. We should focus on finding the boy, if he is not safe somewhere.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

They will find him soon. Dead, of course. Since he was murdered!

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Well, this is just too strange. I don't believe the is lost in the woods because too much doesn't add up. The parents... As they say, if it walks like a duck and quacks like a duck, it's most likely a duck. And here there is just too much that is just too odd. I say foul play.

If so, it is decidedly odd that the parents would choose to bring a gigantic shitstorm onto their own heads by saying they dumped their child as a punishment: this isn't the best way to make people think kindly of them or to remove suspicions of something worse.

The original story that he simply got lost was somehow cunningly destroyed in less than no time by the police, yet the amended version held solid and was accepted by them and continues to be accepted days later, yet apparently it's actually covering for a murder. That seems a bit farfetched, especially when the parents would realize, if they had killed their child elsewhere, that absolutely no trace of him exists at the location they supplied to the police, and that the police will come right back to them to find out why.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Based on what has been reported, sadly, I believe the boy was abducted. Really hope he is ok and will be found eventually.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

He's been found!!

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Great news! Would love to hear his story.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

He's not hurt, in good shape. He showed up at the SDF camp! That's all that's known at this time.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

He has been found safe and sound thank god for that now go deal with the stupid parents

1 ( +1 / -0 )

The boy was found safe! Thank God! I am so happy.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Yes he is talking on cnn TV now. He looks happy and healthy. What exactly went on?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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