Above: Melissa Braden in 2006 (left) and an age-progressed image to 14, circa 2019 (right)
Melissa Hinako Braden
Last seen in Los Angeles, California on March 16, 2006
Vital statistics: Biracial (asian/white) female. Born on April 6, 2005. Dark brown hair, dark brown eyes. She has a red birthmark on her neck, a birthmark on top of her right arm, and a dark mark on her right shoulder and lower back. She may use the names "Hinako" or "Hina" or the last name "Uchiyama." Was ten months at the time.
Circumstances: She was abducted by her non-custodial mother, Ryoko Uchiyama. A photo and vital statistics are posted below. At the time Uchiyama was involved in a custody dispute with Melissa's father, Patrick Braden. Uchiyama had reestablished contact with her estranged parents after Melissa's birth and they encouraged her to return to Japan. Braden expressed reservations about this due to Melissa's age and the fact that Uchiyama had said her father had molested her. An FBI warrant for unlawful flight to avoid prosecution was issued for her on May 15, 2006. They are believed to be in Saitama, Japan.
Above: Ryoko Uchiyama in 2006
Vital statistics: Asian (Japanese) female. Born on October 15, 1973. Black hair, dark brown eyes. She has a scar on her abdomen. She may use the alias first name "Ayako" or the alias last names "Braden" or "Lin." She has training as a kindergarten teacher and enjoys antique shopping. Was thirty-two at the time.
If you have any information as to Melissa's whereabouts, please contact the Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office at 213-974-3607. Any information received can be kept confidential.
Information used to compile this casefile came from the following resources:
The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children
The Doe Network
The Charley Project
Federal Bureau of Investigation
The Polly Klaas Foundation
California Missing Persons Registry
NamUs National Missing Persons Data System
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