Thursday, April 24, 2008

American Anime Fan Goes Missing in Japan


From ABC News via Anime News Network:

The family of a troubled American student who purchased a one-way ticket to Japan perhaps with suicidal intentions pleaded with the local media today for help finding the young woman.

"We are very worried about what she will do when her money runs out," Susan Budnick, mother of 21-year-old Skye Lynn Budnick, said at a press conference in Sapporo, the main city on Japan's northernmost main island, Hokkaido.

Budnick's family members say the junior at Central Connecticut State University and native of Southington, Conn., left the United States on April 1 without telling her family members she was going to Japan. On April 4, her family looked at Budnick's e-mail account and discovered that she had booked the one-way trip to Hokkaido by way of Tokyo.

...

The itinerary discovered by Budnick's family described a passage from the United States through Tokyo to Hokkaido. "She doesn't have a cell phone, she didn't pack any belongings," Megan wrote, adding that the only item missing was her sister's laptop.

The missing woman's family also found a suicide note saved in draft form in her e-mail account that was prepared for a friend, according to Megan Budnick.

A missing person's report has been filed with Japanese authorities, but because Skye Budnick is an adult, there is little that can be done by authorities, according to her sister.

...

Megan Budnick suggested in an interview with The Associated Press that her sister previously spoke of wanting to see the Japanese cherry blossoms, a springtime tourist attraction that typically occurs later this month on Hokkaido.

"That'd be something she wants to see before she dies," Budnick said.

...

The Budnicks, citing information from local Japanese authorities, traced Skye to an inn in Noboribetsu, in southern Hokkaido, on April 7. The missing woman reportedly told an innkeeper that she was heading to Sapporo.


As much as I'd like to imagine a Megatokyo scenario, unfortunately this is a real life event with a real person's life on the stakes. Please spread the word, especially if you're in Japan. Let's hope that she gets found safe and sound.

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