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British Beauty Murder Suspect Tatsuya Ichihashi May Be Hiding in Osaka

(Ichikawa, Chiba). Ten days after the discovery of beautiful British teacher Lindsay Ann Hawker's body, the trail of barefoot escaped murder suspect 1 Tatsuya Ichihashi (28) is still cold. Amidst theories that Ichihashi has committed suicide, shocking new revelations that he may be hiding in Osaka have suddenly surfaced.

"Ichihashi's parents received a phone call on April 3rd at their house in Gifu Prefecture. The call was traced to a public telephone in Osaka City's Nishinari Ward. Chiba police requested the Osaka prefectural police investigate. A two-day investigation was conducted on April 3rd and 4th, but the police were unable to attribute any fingerprints to Ichihashi. Investigators will stick to the area of the payphone for the time being," said someone related to the case. 2

At investigation headquarters, dozens of eye-witness reports have come in. On March 29th, love hotels in Funabashi City were searched and on March 30th the Tozai Subway Line was shut down to conduct another search, but no clues were turned up in either operation.

"Based on the large amount of eye-witness reports, the prefectural police have dispatched over 150 investigators to search neighbouring prefectures in the Kanto region. Despite a widening dragnet, there are no major clues," said an informed source close to the prefectural police. 3

Despite being 180cm tall and having escaped barefoot, Ichihashi has yet to be located. Some believe he may have already committed suicide. The online edition of Britain's Daily Mail have even proposed a theory that the yakuza may be harbouring Ichihashi. 4

It was during a stalemate in the investigation that the theory of Ichihashi hiding out in Osaka suddenly came to light. He's believed to have a degree of money in his possession. If he were to hide in Osaka's doyagai (flophouse) district, it would prove quite difficult to find him. 5

"The phone call was silent, and Ichihashi's parents' home phone number is rumoured to have been posted on the internet. It could just be a nasty prank. For these reasons, investigators cannot say for certain whether (Ichihashi) is hiding in Osaka or not." 6

As long as the investigation continues to go hither and thither, victim Lindsay Ann Hawker won't be able to rest in peace.

1 Although Ichihashi is the prime suspect in Lindsay Hawker's murder, the official crime he is listed as being suspected of is "illegal disposal of a dead body," which is often the first charge in a murder case.
2 No name or position provided.
3 Most likely a reporter with close ties to the police.
4 The nuance in original article is that the yakuza theory was a highly unbelievable scenario. I have to agree that it's an outlandish idea, considering that Ichihashi, by all accounts the somewhat spoiled son of a rich family, has absolutely no connection to the underworld.
5 Kamagasaki, one of Japan's largest districts of cheap lodging for day labourers and homeless, is located in Osaka's Nishinari Ward, where the phone call originated from. The area is also well-known as an place where people drop out of society for different reasons.
6 Quote attributed to same source as note 2

Article Source: Yahoo! News Japan, April 8th 2007, 10am (Tokyo). Originally appeared in Nikkan Gendai, April 5th, 2007 (full text not available online).

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