Mother of girl who went missing near Yamanashi campsite expresses thanks for support

Yomiuri Shimbun file photo
Tomoko Ogura, the mother of the missing girl Misaki, in late April

Wednesday marked three years since Misaki Ogura, then a first grader at primary school, went missing at a campsite in Yamanashi Prefecture. Her mother updated her website on the day, thanking the people who have supported her.

“I want to cherish my life until the day I can meet Misaki in heaven, and live to the fullest for her,” wrote Tomoko Ogura, 39.

Misaki lived in Narita, Chiba Prefecture. She went missing on Sept. 21, 2019, at a campsite in the village of Doshi, Yamanashi Prefecture, where she was visiting with family and friends.

In April this year, human remains believed to be a child’s bone were found on a mountain near the campsite, and the Yamanashi prefectural police resumed their search. Several bones were found and identified as Misaki’s through DNA typing, and the police determined this May that Misaki was dead.

Tomoko updated her website for the first time in about 3½ months on Wednesday, under the heading “To all those who have supported us.”

“I couldn’t admit that my daughter was dead just from being told the test results from the police, and I kept looking for the possibility that it was wrong,” Ogura wrote. “But … I started to think that Misaki would be sad if I kept saying I wouldn’t accept it.”

She also wrote that she had lost her faith in humanity due to slanderous comments posted on social media, but at the same time she had been supported by those who cried with her.

“Thank you so very much for all the warmth and support,” she wrote.

The police are investigating the case as a possible crime or accident, and currently have Misaki’s bones and belongings.

Ogura wrote: “When the investigation is over and [her bones and belongings] are returned, I want to tell her: ‘I’m so sorry that I couldn’t protect you. Thank you for coming back. Okaerinasai (Welcome home).’”