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Tuesday, Dec. 11, 2007
Hawker's friends try new appeal
Friends of slain Briton Lindsay Ann Hawker issued a public appeal Sunday in Tokyo's crowded Harajuku district for any information that might help police track down her alleged killer, Tatsuya Ichihashi, who has been on the run since the March slaying at his apartment.
About 10 people — friends of the slain English teacher and their supporters — turned out at Jingubashi Bridge in T-shirts bearing a photo of Ichihashi and distributed leaflets also bearing his image, along with the phrase "We can't sleep until this man gets arrested" and other information about the case. "What we're doing today is just making people aware that they should not allow him (Ichihashi) to get away with this," said Paul Dingwell, the main organizer of the event and a friend of Hawker's, who was a teacher at Nova Corp.
Hawker's nude corpse was found March 26 buried in sand in a detached bathtub on the balcony of Ichihashi's condo in Ichikawa, Chiba Prefecture.
Dingwell said he has been in contact with Hawker's parents and recently received T-shirts and posters. He prepared about 1,000 copies to hand out to people to energize awareness of the case. "It's coming up (on) Christmas," Dingwell said. "This is going to be (the Hawkers') first Christmas without Lindsay."
Hawker was bicycling home March 21 near JR Nishi Funabashi Station when Ichihashi approached her and asked for a private English lesson, then followed her to her apartment, according to earlier reports. When he asked for a glass of water, Hawker let him into the apartment, apparently feeling safe because a roommate was present.
Ichihashi drew a sketch of Hawker on paper with his name and number. Hawker apparently agreed to give him an English lesson. She was seen March 25 with Ichihashi near Gyotoku Station in the vicinity of his condo.
When Hawker was reported missing and Gyotoku police were given the sketch, they sent several officers to Ichihashi's condo to confront him.
Ichihashi opened the door when the officers knocked but then fled down a fire escape. Dingwell said he heard from Hawker's parents that Ichihashi may have been sighted about a week ago near the Odakyu Line in Tokyo's Shinjuku district. A witness saw a man wearing gloves and a mask acting in a strange manner, but his eyes resembled those of Ichihashi. Dingwell said the sighting may not have been reliable but noted it's important to raise awareness of the case.