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Gunma cops again seek help from public in disappearance of girl 2 decades ago

Yukari Yokoyama went missing in July of 1996
Yukari Yokoyama went missing from a pachinko parlor in Ota City in July of 1996

GUNMA (TR) – As the 21-year anniversary of the disappearance of a 4-year-old girl in Ota City approaches, Gunma Prefectural Police on Sunday once again sough the help of the public in obtaining information to solve the case, reports TV Asahi (July 2).

At a shopping center in Ota, police handed out flyers with information on the case of Yukari Yokoyama, who is believed to have been abducted from a pachinko parlor on July 7, 1996. At some point, she became separated from her parents and was never seen again.

An examination of security camera footage revealed a man in sunglasses and a black hat perusing the aisles of machines over a 15-minute period without playing. Standing at 158 centimeters tall, the man is shown with Yukari at one point. He was believed to have been in his 30s at the time.

Yasuo Yokoyama, Yukari’s father, said: “Not a day passes in which I have forgotten. I have only thought about Yukari since the day she disappeared, and I always think she will return soon.”

Police regularly hand out the flyers, which show an artist’s drawing of how Yukari could look today, near the anniversary of her disappearance at rail stations and shopping centers. Also provided are still images of the security camera footage showing the suspect.

A reward of 6 million yen is being offered for information connected to the case. Police have received about 4,000 tips to date, but none has led to a resolution.

Persons with information on the case are urged to call the Ota Police Station at 0276-33-0110.