SAITAMA – A man was detained Monday in Ito, Shizuoka Prefecture, on suspicion of abducting a Saitama girl who was found the previous day after disappearing two years ago, police said.
Kabu Terauchi, 23, was detained near Futo Station at around 3 a.m. after police responded to an emergency call from a newspaper delivery man. He was found standing in the road with a box cutter and covered in blood.
The girl, now 15, was placed in protective custody on Sunday after telling police she had been his captive since March 2014, when a stranger forced her into a car in Saitama Prefecture.
Terauchi, who bore neck injuries when he was found, did not resist when police took him into custody and was identified by his driver’s license. He said he attempted to kill himself by slashing his throat with the cutter, an investigative source said. He was taken to hospital and is expected to be discharged in a few days.
The police said they plan to arrest the Chiba University graduate after he recovers and charge him with confining the girl.
Terauchi is suspected of tricking the girl into accompanying him by falsely telling her that her parents were getting divorced and that he would take her to a lawyer’s office, according to the source.
Terauchi graduated from Chiba University’s engineering department earlier this month and was set to start working in April, the school confirmed Monday.
The teenager said she was initially taken to the city of Chiba, where police believe she was held for a long time before Terauchi moved to an apartment near Higashi-Nakano Station in Tokyo’s Nakano Ward last month.
She also said Terauchi sometimes took her outside, but the police suspect she couldn’t escape on those rare occasions because he kept a close eye on her, they said. She also said he always kept her locked in.
She managed to escape on Sunday when she found the door unlocked and called police from a public phone at the station shortly after noon, the police said.
Terauchi was out at the time and had said he was heading to Akihabara to buy a mobile phone, she was quoted as saying.
“The man went outside, saying he would go to Akihabara. Usually the door was locked from the outside, but it was not today,” she was quoted as saying.
Before calling the police, however, she telephoned her mother and told her she was at Higashi-Nakano Station. Her mother then told her to contact the police, and separately made an emergency call.
The girl was escorted to Niiza Police Station in Saitama on Sunday and reunited with her family, the police said.
“I’m really relieved. I want to spend time with my daughter so that we can regain time we’ve lost,” the father of the girl, whose name is being withheld, said in a written statement.
A Facebook page believed to have been created by the suspect, originally from Ikeda, Osaka Prefecture, says he attended an aviation school in the U.S. It also carries a photo of him posing with a small airplane.
The website of the California aviation school says he got a private pilot’s license in September 2013. The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration’s airman database contains his name and an Ikeda address.
The girl was last seen on March 10, 2014, when she was speaking with a young man in front of her home in Asaka, Saitama Prefecture.
On the same day, a note was found in a letter box at her home in what appeared to be her handwriting, saying, “Don’t look for me.”
Police then began looking into her disappearance, soliciting the public for leads. When she was taken into protective custody, the girl still had her student ID with her, the police said.