National / Crime & Legal

Okayama girl, 11, missing; GPS trail goes cold

Kyodo

An 11-year-old girl from Kurashiki, Okayama Prefecture, has been missing since leaving school Monday afternoon, the Okayama Prefecture Police said Tuesday.

The police released a photo of Sakura Moriyama, a fifth-grader of Nakasho Elementary School in Kurashiki, and asked people to offer information on her, while some 100 officers searched the neighborhood.

According to the police, Moriyama left the school alone at around 4 p.m. Monday. The school is located about 2 km west of her house.

Around the time she left school, she called her mother using her mobile phone and asked her to come and pick her up, but her mother could not go because she was in a hospital, the police said.

Since she did not return home an hour later, her mother used the Global Positioning System to locate her mobile phone and confirmed that the phone was located 2 km northeast of her home, the opposite direction from the route she takes from school.

Her mother looked for her and her mobile phone, but could not find them at the location confirmed by the GPS. Police said the mobile phone was confirmed at similar locations several times afterward, but appeared to be either shut off or taken out of range at around 12:30 a.m. Tuesday.

Sakura Moriyama is about 150-cm tall with shoulder length black hair. She was in her school uniform — whilte, short-sleeved polo shirt, navy skirt and a pair of white sneakers — and was carrying a pink school backpack when she left school.

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