A manhunt is on for Ichihashi Tatsuya, the prime suspect in the brutal murder of 22-year-old English teacher Lindsay Ann Hawker. The battered, bound and naked body of Ms Hawker, who worked for the Nova English conversation school franchise was found buried in a bathtub of sand on the balcony of Ichihashi's apartment in Ichikawa, near Tokyo.
Ichihashi, 28, managed to escape from 9 policemen in his stocking feet when the officers called at his apartment to investigate the disappearance of Ms Hawker. Ms Hawker had apparently been followed home on March 20 by Ichihashi, who begged her to give him an English lesson.
The pair met for the conversation class on Sunday March 25 in a cafe near Gyotoku subway station not far from Ms Hawker's home and were captured on CCTV ordering drinks. Ichihashi and Hawker were at the cafe from around 9am-9.45am before leaving, apparently for Ichihashi's condominium.
Hard facts surrounding the police investigation are hard to come by. There are reports Ichihashi's home was stacked with violent and sexually explicit manga and he may have cut off the hair of the victim.
Around 150 detectives are assigned to the case to find Ichihashi, whose mugshot (above) is posted at police stations and koban around the country. So far unsuccessful police action includes raiding a love hotel called Chateau, in Nishi Funabashi, and shutting down the Tozai Subway Line to conduct searches for Ichihashi.
There is speculation in the Japanese press that Ichihashi, the son of wealthy parents from Gifu Prefecture, has committed suicide or is avoiding detection in Osaka's day-laborer areas.
The trail has gone cold for now.
Translations from the Japanese press on the Lindsay Ann Hawker case
The Hawker family have set up a Lindsay Anne Hawker webpage to help track down her killer.
Being A Broad have launched a T-shirt campaign in support of the Hawker family.
Japan Tokyo Crime Ichihashi Tatsuya Lindsay Ann Hawker
Monday, April 30, 2007