June 30, 2007 / 2:04 PM / 12 years ago

Slain Briton's family make TV appeal in Japan

TOKYO (Reuters) - The parents of a young British woman found dead near Tokyo three months ago appeared on a Japanese television crime show on Saturday to appeal for information about her suspected killer.

The parents of Lindsay Hawker, mother Julia (R) holding a wanted poster showing 28-year-old Tatsuya Ichihashi, wanted in connection with the death of Lindsay Hawker, and father Bill, attend a news conference at the British embassy in Tokyo June 29, 2007. REUTERS/Toru Hanai

The naked body of 22-year-old English teacher Lindsay Hawker was found buried in a bathtub full of sand on the balcony of an apartment occupied by 28-year-old Tatsuya Ichihashi, who fled when police arrived to question him and is still at large.

Hawker’s parents wept during a dramatised recreation of her death and the discovery of the body on “TV no Chikara” or “The Power of Television,” broadcast by TV Asahi.

“If anybody watching the programme knows the whereabouts, or suspects the whereabouts of Ichihashi, please call in,” her mother, 50-year-old Julia urged the audience.

In other comments dubbed into Japanese, Lindsay’s father, William Hawker said he felt like killing the “evil” Ichihashi with his own hands.

A man presenters referred to as a “psychic dreamer” spoke to the Hawker family and visited the scene of the crime, saying he believed Ichihashi had escaped on a stolen bicycle and was still alive.

With no confirmed sightings of the suspect for three months, there has been speculation Ichihashi may have committed suicide.

Presenters said they had received more than 40,000 pieces of information on Hawker’s case and several others covered in the broadcast by the end of the programme, but it was not clear whether any of them would lead to progress in the case.

Julia told a news conference in Tokyo on Friday the family had received a statement from Ichihashi’s family offering condolences and that they had been told if they appealed for information on his whereabouts, his parents would support them.

Hawker’s parents have said they are satisfied with the investigation but came to Japan to try to draw renewed attention to the case, which initially shocked the relatively crime-free country but has more recently fallen from the media agenda.

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