TOKYO – Japanese police have caught a 23-year-old man wanted for allegedly abducting a teenage girl who escaped and ran for freedom a day earlier after being held captive in his apartment for nearly two years.
Police said Monday that the girl, now aged 15, escaped from suspect Kabu Terauchi’s apartment in downtown Tokyo on Sunday while he was out shopping and called home from a pay phone. She disappeared two years ago from her hometown in Saitama, near Tokyo.
Saitama police said the girl, whose name is withheld because she is a minor, told investigators that she escaped when her captor forgot to lock the door from outside when he went out Sunday to go shopping in Akihabara, known as a district for technology and comic book geeks.
Investigators captured Terauchi in the early hours of Monday near a forest west of Tokyo. He was bleeding from the neck from a minor self-inflicted injury as a result of a failed suicide attempt.
Police plan to formally arrest him with kidnapping.
The girl’s disappearance two years ago when she was just 13 years of age, was major news in Japan at the time.
Terauchi graduated from university this month and even had a job offer while allegedly keeping the girl locked up in his apartment. He continued to lock her up in his new apartment in Tokyo after moving there last month.
The girl was seen wearing a sweat suit and sandals in the cold weather while using a pay phone at a train station in downtown Tokyo. Her mother reported the call to the police, who raided Terauchi’s Tokyo apartment early Monday.
Police quoted her as saying that she spent most of the past two years in Terauchi’s apartment near his university in Chiba, before moving to Tokyo last month. She was always locked up in the apartment and closely watched, but was not tied up or put in chains. There were times she was taken outside the apartment but always with her captor and under close watch.