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Missing French woman: Search to focus on mountain after witness tip

TOCHIGI (TR) – After receiving a tip, Tochigi Prefectural Police will commence a large-scale search of a mountainous area in attempting to locate a French woman who went missing last month, reports Fuji News Network (Aug. 9).

Tiphaine Veron, 36, has not been seen after she departed a lodge to go trekking in Nikko City on July 29. On Thursday, police revealed that a male mountain climber, aged in his 70s, reported seeing a foreign woman descending Mt. Nakimushiyama on a trail to Kanmangafuchi Abyss.

That day, heavy rainfall from Typhoon Jongdari caused rivers to swell in central Japan. “I did not think there were climbers other than myself due to the typhoon,” the witness said. “So she left an impression, and I remembered it.”

On Friday, a search party of about 80 persons will search the area for Veron, who arrived in Japan as a tourist on July 27.

The following day, she checked into the lodge in the Takumicho area of Nikko for a two-night stay. Traveling alone, Veron departed the lodge after breakfast at around 10:00 a.m. on July 29. The male manager of the lodge did not see her again, police said.

A search of her room revealed her passport and luggage. A note left in the room included a list of sightseeing locations in the area, including the World Heritage site Toshogu Shrine, police said.

On Sunday, police publicly released images showing Veron. With a medium build, she stands about 165 centimeters tall and has short brown hair. Members of her family arrived in Japan to assist in the search on August 4. Her mother sent a letter to French president Emmanuel Macron in seeking his help with the ongoing search.

Persons with information on the case are advised to contact the Nikko Police Station at 0288-53-0110.