missed and wanted

Missing: Yuki Onishi (Japan)

Missing: Yuki Onishi (Japan)

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Greenery Day, a national holiday celebrated every May 4th in Japan, is a day intended to celebrate nature and be thankful for blessings. Before the year 2007, however, Greenery Day was celebrated in Japan each year on April 29.

April 29th, 2005, five year old Yuki Onishi travelled to a bamboo shoot digging event held in Kanagawa Prefecture's Goshikidai Forest with her mother and eight year old sister, along with an estimated 60 other people taking part in the day's event. Half an hour after the event's commencement, approximately 1:30pm, Yuki found her first bamboo shoot. Excited, Yuki informed her mother that she hoped to go and find another shoot, and promptly walked away to continue searching.

Approximately 20 minutes later, Yuki's mother searched for her daughter among the other diggers, soon realising, however, that Yuki was missing. After a frantic search, Yuki's mother contacted authorities at approximately 3pm. Over the following six to eight hours, police and firefighters conducted a search for Yuki, unable to find any trace of the five year old girl.

An estimated 3,000 people took part in a search over preceding days, but were still unable to find any sign of Yuki. Police dogs were brought in with the intention of tracking Yuki's scent, hoping to discover her. However, multiple dogs following Yuki's scent all stopped in the middle of the forest, indicating that Yuki's scent trail very suddenly ended with still no trace of the missing girl.

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Theories that Yuki may have drowned in a nearby pond were proven untrue, as a search of the water yielded nothing. Some amongst the 60-odd crowd participating in the bamboo shoot digging event did recall a man walking through the forest wearing a backpack large enough to conceal Yuki within, however none of the participants were able to give any other significant identifying details about the man.

Yuki was 3'5" tall and weighed 15.5 kilograms (34 pounds) when she disappeared, and was wearing a pink hat, a long-sleeved shirt with red and orange pattern, white gloves, blue pants and pink shoes.

No trace of Yuki has since been found, and she remains missing to this day. Japanese speakers can access a website dedicated to the search for Yuki here: http://yuuki.n-ne.jp/

SPECULATION AND THEORY: Given the extensiveness of the search, which yielded no results, it stands to reason that Yuki was displaced from the forest somehow. It would seem unlikely that the man seen with the backpack could have sufficiently hidden Yuki within the bag without drawing any attention, but of course the possibility cannot be ruled out.

Crime rates in Japan are particularly low compared to the rest of the world, and the rates of crimes being solved are equally high, so it stands as particularly alarming that not only is Yuki's disappearance unsolved, but no trace of her has been found. Clearly, the question now is will she ever be found? And, if so, will she be found alive?

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