American Anime Fan Disappears in Japan

posted on by Mikhail Koulikov
College student traveled on one-way ticket, was last seen at Hokkaido inn

21-year-old Skye Lynn Budnick, a student at Central Connecticut State University and member of the university's anime club, has disappeared after traveling to Japan on a one-way ticket that she bought without informing her family. She left the United States on April 1 and was last seen on April 7 at an inn in Noboribetsu, a city on Japan's northern island of Hokkaido. Budnick's family traveled to Hokkaido to search for her and have been working with the United States Embassy, the United States Consulate in Sapporo, and local police. However, her sister, Megan Budnick, returned home Friday without finding any additional information about the woman after her April 7 stay at the inn. The sisters' mother, Susan Budnick, remains in Japan to continue the search.

According to the Record-Journal newspaper of Meridien, Connecticut, Budnick left her home in the nearby town of Southington with only her laptop and about US$800 in cash. Several days after she disappeared, her family logged into her email account and found her travel itinerary and a suicide note that she composed, but did not send. Budnick's friends and relatives mentioned that she had been an anime fan since middle school, and that she was generally quiet and did not have many friends. She had recently failed several classes, and reportedly, only remained in school to be allowed to participate in the activities of the anime club.

The United States Consulate in Sapporo has asked that people with more information on Budnick's whereabouts to call (011) 641-1115 (from overseas, call 81-11-641-1115).

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