A 7-year-old boy has been reported missing for two days after his parents left him near the mountain range of Nanae-cho, Hokkaido in northern Japan on Saturday, according to the Hokkaido Prefectural Police.
Over 150 members of the local police and fire departments, along with rescue teams, have been searching for Yamato Tanooka after his parents left him in the mountain range “as punishment,”
The location where the young boy was abandoned is home to wild bears.
Authorities received an emergency call from his parents at around 6 p.m. Saturday. At first, police were told that the boy had gone missing during a day trip to the area with his parents and sister to collect wild vegetables.
However, his parents later reportedly admitted they had left their son alone in the mountains to punish him for throwing stones at passing cars and people while on their way home.
“I was not able to ask for [a search] with a reason of punishment,” the father told TV Asahi. “I thought it might be taken as a domestic violence.”
The parents also reportedly confessed they had initially stalled in reporting their son missing due to the reasons behind his disappearance.
According to the police, the parents quickly drove back to where they had left the child, but he was no longer there.