Three Mysteries Remain One Month After the Announcement of Misaki Ogura’s Death in Doshimura Mountains | FRIDAY DIGITAL

Three Mysteries Remain One Month After the Announcement of Misaki Ogura’s Death in Doshimura Mountains

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In her blog updated on June 3, she wrote, “I still sincerely hope that the day will come when I can hug Misaki with a smile on my face,” and asked for further information.

One month has passed since it was announced on May 14 that the DNA analysis of the shoulder blade found in the mountains of Doshimura matched that of the missing Misaki Ogura. The Yamanashi Prefectural Police have confirmed that the DNA type of the scapula is identical to that of Misaki’s.

The Yamanashi Prefectural Police announced that with the results of the DNA analysis of the scapula, “It was determined that Ms. Misaki died from the bone in the area essential for life support. On the other hand, they have not been able to determine the cause of death, and the search for her remains is still ongoing.


Although the case has reached a turning point with the discovery of the human bones and the remains, there are still many puzzling aspects to the case. Three mysteries remain.

Why it took two years and seven months to discover the remains

When the incident occurred in September 2019, a total of 1,600 investigators from the Yamanashi Prefectural Police and Self-Defense Forces were deployed. Despite intermittent searches since then, the discovery was not made until April of this year. The discovery point was only about 600 meters away from the campsite and within the search area, but why was the body not found?

“The spot where the body was found was indeed close to the campsite, but it was on a steep slope with a 40-degree angle of inclination. The child could never have reached it alone,’ so they prioritized other locations. This preconceived notion made the investigation difficult.

At the time of the incident, about 1,600 people were introduced, but command was provided by the police, fire department, and Self-Defense Forces, respectively. Of course, I believe that the heads of each organization were in close consultation with each other. However, it was the searchers who were on the scene. I think there was a part of them that did not cooperate well.”

Discomfort with the remains that were left behind

The second mystery pertains to the articles left behind. Former Kanagawa Prefectural Police detective and crime journalist Taihei Ogawa, who has visited the site 10 times to cover the crime, says, “The shoes and socks were found only a few meters away from the body, and the police found them in the middle of the street.

It is assumed that they were washed down by rain or wind from upstream to where they were found, but in that case, it seems strange that they were gathered within a small area. Also, according to the police report, the shoes were not so deteriorated. In addition to rain and wind, the area also gets snow. How is it possible that they were left in such conditions for two years and seven months and not deteriorated?

What is even more worrisome is that the jeans have not been found. Shoes and other items are concentrated in one place, but the jeans the child was wearing have not been found. The fact that only the clothing is not in that vicinity is unnatural, especially if it was accidentally swept away.”

On the Possibility of Foul Play

The biggest mystery is whether Misaki’s death was an accident or foul play. The aforementioned Mr. Kurokawa, said,

It is of course possible that a third party came to dump the body, but it would be very risky for the murderer to take the trouble to bring the body parts, let alone the remains. It would be understandable if they dumped the body in a completely different place, but it is unlikely that they would dump the body in the place where it went missing. In my experience, it is more likely to be an accident.

I am told that the re-investigation, which has been conducted since April this year with a maximum of about 50 people, has now been reduced to 20. The police say that they are ‘continuing to investigate for both foul play and accident,’ but if they are looking at it as a foul play, this is not the time to be reducing the number of investigators. I believe the police are also searching for what they see as a high probability of an accident.”

On June 10, another object resembling human remains was found in the vicinity where the shoes were discovered. Despite the intense investigation at the scene, no evidence has yet been found that would lead to the determination of the cause of death. The search for the truth must be completed as soon as possible.

Tomoko Ogura, interviewed by reporters, arrived at the site on April 28 and visited the actual search site.
During the interview, she was unable to hold back her tears. She squeezed out a few words, saying, “I believe that our family is still Misaki’s.”
The entrance to the search site is cordoned off and only those involved in the investigation are allowed to enter.
  • Photo Shinji Hasuo

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