National

7-year-old girl still missing after police end 16-day-long search in Yamanashi Prefecture

JIJI

The Yamanashi Prefectural Police ended an intensive search for a 7-year-old girl from Narita, Chiba Prefecture, on Sunday, the 16th day since she went missing.

Misaki Ogura disappeared during a visit with her family to a campsite in the Yamanashi village of Doshi on Sept. 21.

“We did all we could in the search,” local police chief Hisashi Inoue said. “We’re sorry that we couldn’t find her.”

A total of about 1,700 police officers, firefighters and Self-Defense Force troops were mobilized for the search efforts, which covered areas within 15 kilometers east and west of the campsite and 7 to 8 km to the north and south.

“After hearing that the search operation has been discontinued, we feel gratitude (for those involved in the search), and disappointment,” the girl’s mother, Tomoko, 36, told reporters in the village Sunday night.

“Although not even a shoe of hers has been discovered, we can’t give up on her,” the mother said.

Her family has released photos of the girl taken on the day she went missing.

Yamanashi police have so far received about 2,000 reports of related information, but there were no promising leads.

The police are continuing to gather information on her whereabouts and will restart the search operation if new leads arise.

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