After almost a week of searching, a missing 9 year old schoolgirl in the city of Sapporo, Hokkaido was found and rescued by police, having been held captive in an apartment not far from her own home by a 26 year old man. The authorities revealed that the young, unemployed man had been arrested and was to be charged with kidnapping, but the good news was that the girl was unharmed.
Rina Hataya had last been seen on Monday, January 27th by her mother, saying that she need to go out to buy a notebook for school. When the elementary school student never came back home, police began their search by asking friends and neighbors for any information. They eventually turned to the media for help, releasing Hataya’s photo to the public and asking for anyone with information to call. By Sunday, February 2nd investigators say they had received 198 tips.
The key lead came on Sunday night, when a neighbor of the suspect called the police at around 10:30 PM, saying that they didn’t know for sure if it was connected, but there was “a suspicious man living nearby who is always carrying comic books intended for young girls.” Officers were sent to investigate the apartment of the suspect, later identified as Hajime Matsui, and found Hataya being kept inside, a mere 350 meters from her home. The police have said that the girl never met the man before the day she went missing, but he had approached her in a parking lot as she walked home.
[via Japan Today]