• Kyodo


The Okayama Prefectural Police department took a missing 11-year-old girl into protective custody on Saturday after finding her at the home of a 49-year-old man in the city of Okayama.

The police arrested the man, Takeshi Fujiwara, on charges of confining the girl, Sakura Moriyama. According to police sources, Fujiwara, who described himself as an illustrator, has admitted to the charges.

The girl was taken to a hospital and was confirmed to have not been injured.

She went missing in the Okayama Prefecture city of Kurashiki on Monday afternoon after telling her mother on the phone that she would go home from school. Before the disappearance, a girl who looked like her was seen talking with a man beside a silver car near Moriyama’s home.

The police said her mother, 39, saw a suspicious silver car near her home in June. She remembered the license plate number, which helped the police to track down the suspect. A silver car was found parked at his home.

The police mobilized 700 officers to search for the girl, using information from her Global Positioning System-equipped mobile phone.

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