Sneakers found near Yamanashi campsite where girl disappeared in 2019

The Yomiuri Shimbun
Tomoko Ogura holds her missing daughter’s favorite toy near the site of search operations on Thursday.

KOFU — Footwear and an item of clothing have been found near a campsite in Doshi, Yamanashi Prefecture, where a young girl went missing in 2019, the Yamanashi prefectural police announced Friday.

Remains believed to be part of a child’s skull were found in the area on April 23.

Misaki Ogura from Narita, Chiba Prefecture, was 7 years old when she went missing during a camping trip with family and friends in September 2019.

According to the police, the footwear found during the latest search was size 20 and emerald green. The manufacturer and style match the sneakers worn by Misaki when she disappeared.

The right shoe was found Thursday about 300 meters away from where the remains were discovered. The left shoe and a sock were found Friday.

The site of both discoveries is within the area searched during the large-scale operation conducted when Misaki was reported missing.

The prefectural police have been conducting an intensive search in the area following the recent discovery of bone fragments was reported to authorities.

Mother maintains hope

“It breaks my heart whenever I come to this campsite because I remember Misaki’s smile,” the missing girl’s mother Tomoko Ogura said Thursday near the campsite.

Ogura, 39, traveled to the area following the discovery of bone fragments. “I wanted to see the site with my own eyes,” she said.

“I don’t think the bones are Misaki’s. I believe she’ll return safely,” she said tearfully, holding Misaki’s favorite stuffed toy.