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Parents of student missing in Kumamoto Earthquake find possible piece of his car

KUMAMOTO -- The parents of a university student who has been missing since the Kumamoto Earthquake on April 16 have discovered a metal part that may be a piece of the student's car in a river a few kilometers from where the student is last thought to have been.

Hikaru Yamato, 22, a student at Kumamoto Gakuen University, disappeared likely while driving near the Aso Ohashi bridge, which collapsed in the earthquake. His parents found the car part in the town of Ozu along the Shirakawa river, about 5 kilometers from the bridge. The part was given to prefectural police, and they will examine its paint and other properties to see if it is a part of Hikaru's car.

According to Hikaru's father Takuya, 58, the part, which was found on June 23, was a flat piece about 1 meter long and 50 to 60 centimeters wide and a yellowish color like that of his son's car. The part was caught up among breaking blocks set up along the river. Takuya says that a car dealer that sells the car brand that Yamato drove suggested the part might be a piece of the hood.

Takuya, who has been repeatedly going out to the waterways downstream of the Aso Ohashi bridge and other locations to look for his son, says, "All I can do is search for clues one-by-one."

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