STORRS, Conn. (WTNH) — The family of a Storrs woman who went missing in Japan is hoping to find runners who were on the trail she was planning to hike.
Patricia Wu-Murad was last seen on April 10, and had planned to hike the Kumano Kodō trail, according to her family. The 60-year-old was last seen a quarter mile from the trail. She never arrived at her hostel for the night.
The three runners would have been on the Kohechi route of the Kumano Kodō trail on April 10. The group started at Koyasan and ran to Wakayama, passing by Imoze at 7:35 a.m., according to a post from Wu-Murad’s daughter on a Facebook page for the search.
Finding the runners will help direct future search efforts.
In the days since she went missing, U.S. search and rescue crews have scoured the area both on foot and by using technology. A GoFundMe to fund the search has raised more than $199,000 of its $225,000 goal, as of Sunday afternoon.
Each U.S. search and rescue team member costs $5,000 to travel to the region, according to the updates from the family. The family wants to send at least six team members, and is making another push to raise funds for the effort.
Wu-Murad’s family have not ruled out if her disappearance is criminal, and has said there is no evidence she stepped onto the trail. The family recently received a tip that a man approached a solo female hiker near the Kumano Kodō trail 10 days after Wu-Murad went missing, and asked the woman if she’d go home with him to practice his English.
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