Hawker’s dad visits, thanks public

Kyodo

The father of Lindsay Ann Hawker, the victim in a high-profile 2007 murder case, came to Japan on Wednesday, a month after the prime suspect was arrested.

Bill Hawker visited Gyotoku Police Station in Chiba Prefecture, where an investigation team for the case has been established, and expressed his gratitude to “every single person in Japan” for their cooperation that led to the arrest of 30-year-old suspect Tatsuya Ichihashi on Nov. 10.

Hawker produced a photograph of his daughter, who was an English teacher and 22 years old at the time of her death, from his pocket and choked back tears as he spoke to reporters in front of the police station.

In a meeting with police officers, Hawker asked them about the procedures for Ichihashi’s upcoming trial and how he has spent the time since his arrest, according to sources. The Chiba police are scheduled to interview Hawker over the next few days.

Ichihashi was arrested on the technical charge of abandoning Lindsay Hawker’s body at his apartment. He was later indicted and served with another arrest warrant for murder and rape.

Ichihashi allegedly strangled the young woman in his apartment in Ichikawa, Chiba Prefecture, in March 2007. He fled from police officers and then used false names and altered his appearance with plastic surgery on a number of occasions during his 32 months on the run.

The police got a break when one of the clinics where he underwent surgery provided a photo of Ichihashi’s face. He was spotted and arrested at a ferry terminal in Osaka while waiting for a ship bound for Okinawa.

Ichihashi did not eat for two weeks following his arrest and has refused to speak about the case.