Eiko Shinozaki does not know Fiona MacKeown, but she is following the case of MacKeown’s daughter Scarlett Keeling, who was found dead on a Goa beach.
She relates with her misery, for her 21-year-old son, Kota Shinozaki, went missing from Agra in September 2006. Since then Eiko has been on the lookout, keeping in touch with the Agra police and visiting India in search of her son.
“I’m sure he is alive and I will find him soon,” she says, ready to embark on her third trip to Agra in less than two years. “I think he is still in India,” she says, holding a poster that has a picture of Kota along with details of his age and physique. “I’ll paste these on the streets of Agra. It might help us find him,” she smiles.
On September 2, 2006, she drove Kota to the Omiya railway station to board a train to Tokyo, from where the economics student took the flight to Delhi. “He was travelling alone for the first time. I wish he hadn’t come here,” sighs the 54-year-old, adding, “I do not dislike the country, it’s just the incident.”
While reports suggest that Kota landed at the Indira Gandhi International Airport on September 3 and booked a package tour “for Jaipur, Agra, Varanasi, Bodhgaya and Haora”, Eiko had no information about his itinerary. “We realised something was wrong only after he failed to board his return flight on September 23,” she says.
For now, Eiko is relying on the police investigations that reveal that Kota checked into a hotel in Agra on September 5, after which he went missing.
Last month, on a visit to Agra, Japanese ambassador to India, Hideaki Domichi, had discussed the issue with Mayor of Agra, Anjula Singh.
“An appointment has been fixed to meet Shinozaki on Monday. We are still working on the case,” says Kamal Saxena, DIG of police, Agra.
“We haven’t lost hope yet. We’ll find him. I’ll just hug him and we’ll go back to Japan. His room is just the way he left it,” smiles Shinozaki.