An innkeeper who was the last known person to see a Connecticut woman before she vanished into thin air during a solo hiking trip in Tokyo fears she has been kidnapped.
Retiree Patricia ‘Pattie’ Wu-Murad, 60, was last seen at about 7am on April 10 when she checked out of the Mandokoro guesthouse in Higashiōmi city.
Described as an avid hiker, Wu-Murad was planning to set out on a 11.2 mile hike along the Kumano Kodo, a group of trails that wind through mountainous regions in southern Kansai to Taiyo-no-yu guest hostel in Osaka.
Her family said that was the location she planned, but she never arrived.
Innkeeper, Shigeaki Tsuji, who described her as ‘full energy’ the last time he saw her now fears the married mother of three may have been kidnapped.
He told TheMessenger News: ‘I am worried about whether she got lost at the start. And I’m more worried that maybe someone drove by and abducted her. All of us in the village are worried about her. We are all waiting for her return.’
Japanese officials have halted the search for Wu-Murad due to an ‘underwhelming amount of evidence found,’ leaving her desperate family hoping for a miracle.
Patricia ‘Pattie’ Wu-Murad, 60, was last seen around 7am on April 10 when she checked out of the Mandokoro guesthouse in Higashiōmi city
A scenic view of the mountainous region in Tokyo
Pattie Wu-Murad is smiling in an undated family photo
Saturday will mark the eight-week mark and with little or no clues, some are wondering if Wu-Murad was a victim of a crime, though violent crime in the country is one of the lowest in the world, the news outlet reported.
The hiking enthusiast frequently traveled around the globe to hike. Her trip to Tokyo was her third pilgrimage there.
Since her 2020 retirement, she had hiked in France, Spain, Jordan and Egypt, the news the outlet reported.
‘I don’t understand why someone with so much experience would get lost on such a simple trail,’ the innkeeper said.
‘The ‘case is a strange one from the start.
‘In our village, we have no experience with incidents, so I don’t think any of us knows what to do.’
The night she disappeared her family said that she was planning to follow a scenic hiking trail from one guesthouse to the next, which should have taken her seven to nine hours.
Wu-Murad’s distraught family created a GoFundMe to help them raise funds to travel to the county and help search for their loved one and hired additional teams to help search. Thousands of miles were covered over mountainous terrain, caves and canyons by foot, drone and helicopter, but to no avail.
Her daughter, Murphy Murad, posted an update on the HelpPattiePage they created in which they shared the heartbreaking news that there were no leads and the search would be ending.
She expressed her gratitude to all the search teams and messages of hope her family recieved.
‘If we had the time, resources and financial capacity to search every trail in the area with as much depth and precision as we did this one, we would. However, the reality is all search efforts have stopped as of May 30 due to the underwhelming amount of evidence found,’ she wrote.
‘As heartbreaking as it is to have come up empty handed, all of these comments are thanks to you. The amount of work we were able to accomplish would not have been possible without the unwavering support of our family, friends, community, and the remarkable individuals we encountered in Totsukawa.’
A photo of the Unesco heritage Kumano Kodo pilgrimage path in the heavily wooded forest leading to Nachi Falls, Wakayama, Japan
Two statues of Jozo or Jizo Bosatsu, called Hanakake Jizo’are carved on a large rock located along Dainichi-goe route, a trail over Mt. Dainichi that connects Kumano Hongu Taisha and Yunomine Onsen on June 12, 2019 in Tanabe, Wakayama Prefecture, Japa
A 72-hour search which included 26 police officers and helicopters began April 11 but was unable to find any leads – with cops claiming they have ‘limited resources over the weekends’.
Wu-Murad’s devastated husband, Kirk Murad, told the Hartford Courant, who has called the ordeal a ‘nightmare,’ he was thankful for the support and love he has received.
‘Pattie has been my best friend since 1986. We married in 1990. I want to celebrate our 33rd anniversary next month with her and both our families,’ Murad wrote.
Source: | This article originally belongs to Dailymail.co.uk