In November of 1988, Jo Kamisaku (then 17; Kamisaku was a new family name he took after being released from prison ) and three other young men from Tokyo abducted and held Furuta, a second year high school (grade 11) student from Saitama Prefecture in Misato, for 44 days. They kept her captive in the house owned by the parents of one of the other two boys except a 18-year-old principal and Kamisaku.
To forestall a manhunt, the principal coerced Furuta into calling her own parents and telling them that she had run away from home, but was with "a friend" and was not in danger. He also browbeat her into posing as one of their girlfriends when the parents were around, but when it became clear that they would not call the police, he dropped this pretext. Furuta tried to escape several times, begging more than once with the parents who lived there to help her, but they did nothing, apparently out of fear that he would hurt them. The principal was at the time a low-level yakuza leader and had bragged that he could use his connections to kill anyone who interfered.