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    Mar 29, 2016

    Japanese girl, 15, escapes after being held for 2 years


    A 23-YEAR-OLD man was taken into custody yesterday after a junior high school girl he is suspected to have abducted two years ago escaped on Sunday, Japanese media reported.

    The girl, now 15, told police in Tokyo that she had been kidnapped by the man from outside her home in Saitama prefecture, which is next to the Japanese capital, on March 10, 2014, Kyodo news agency reported.

    Later that day, her family found a note in their letterbox in what appeared to be her handwriting, saying: "Don't look for me."

    Yesterday morning, the suspect Kabu Terauchi was found by the police in Shizuoka prefecture, about 170km southwest of Tokyo, after they received a call saying a man covered in blood had been seen walking in a local village, reported Sankei Shimbun.

    Terauchi, who told police he had tried to slash his own throat, was taken to hospital and is expected to be arrested after he recovers.

    The suspect is believed to have tricked the girl into his car by falsely claiming that her parents were getting divorced and that he was sent to take her to a lawyer's office, according to a source.

    The girl said she was initially taken to the city of Chiba, which is close to Tokyo.

    The police believe she was locked up in Chiba for a long time before being moved to an apartment near a subway station in Tokyo last month.

    The girl said the suspect sometimes took her outdoors but she could not escape as he always kept a close watch on her.

    She managed to flee when she found the door unlocked on Sunday and called the police from a public phone.

    At that time Terauchi had headed to Tokyo to buy a mobile phone, said the girl.

    When she was taken into protective custody on Sunday, she had no injuries and was wearing a jersey and sandals, Asahi Shimbun reported.

    She has since been reunited with her parents.

    According to the principal of her school, she could receive her diploma on Thursday, although she had missed the graduation ceremony that was held two weeks ago, reported Sankei.

    Chiba University said Terauchi, who hails from Osaka prefecture, graduated from its engineering department this month and was set to start working.

    A Facebook page believed to be the man's, also mentioned that he had attended an aviation school in the United States.