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Japan police call off search for 7-yr-old girl missing for 2-plus weeks

Misaki Ogura is seen dressed in a black long-sleeved shirt on Sept. 21, 2019, the day she went missing, in this photo provided by her family.

KOFU -- Yamanashi Prefectural Police on Oct. 6 suspended the large-scale search for Misaki Ogura, a 7-year-old girl who went missing at a campsite in this central Japan prefecture on Sept. 21.

The command headquarters that had been set up near the Tsubakiso auto campsite in the village of Doshi was also disassembled. Police, firefighters and village officials have been unable to find clues as to her whereabouts in the 16 days since she disappeared.

The prefectural police will continue to gather information about the first-grade elementary school student by carrying out interviews with local residents and checking footage taken by security cameras set up along a national highway near the campsite.

"We established a full-scale operation and carried out the search, but failed to locate her," said Otsuki Police Station head Hisashi Inoue.

According to the prefectural police, a total of 1,700 people including members of the fire department, volunteer fire brigades and Self-defense Forces (SDF) have participated in the search, which covered areas within approximately 15 kilometers east and west of the campsite and 7 to 8 kilometers north and south. This included mountainous areas, paths through forests and the Doshi Dam -- where a wetland running through the campsite ends.

Though it received some 1,800 pieces of information, police say none of them were promising clues. The SDF and volunteer fire brigades had already withdrawn from search effort on Sept. 28 and 29, respectively.

(Japanese original by Shota Kaneko, Kofu Bureau)

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