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Suspect arrested over Japan bath of sand murder

Lindsay Hawker's father William stands next to an image of chief suspect Tatsuya Ichihashi.
Lindsay Hawker's father William stands next to an image of chief suspect Tatsuya Ichihashi.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Japanese police suspect in the death of a British woman
  • Body of Lindsay Ann Harker found in sand-filled bath in March 2007
  • Chief suspect spend two and a half years on the run

Tokyo, Japan (CNN) -- Japanese police said Tuesday they had arrested a suspect in the death of a young British woman who was found dead in a bath of sand two years ago.

The man, who investigative sources said was in apprehended in the central city of Osaka, was being sought over the March 2007 death of 22-year-old teacher Lindsay Ann Hawker.

The UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office said it had confirmed the arrest with Japanese police and was in contact with the victim's family.

Media reports named the man as sole suspect Tatsuya Ichihashi, the 30-year-old on whose apartment balcony Hawker's body was discovered in the town of Ichikawa, east of Tokyo.

"I feel as if our agony is finally over," Hawker's father William Hawker told Japanese broadcaster TBS, shortly after the arrest. "I look forward to seeing Ichihashi across a courtroom."

Ichihashi had reportedly fled arrest when police arrived to interview him at his apartment shortly after the murder. He has spent two and a half years on the run.

Japanese news agency Kyodo reported that Ichihashi had recently attended a clinic for a what was believed to be a second round of plastic surgery to alter his appearance.

Police, who had offered a 10 million yen reward ($111,300) for information leading to his capture, issued a photograph of his post-surgery face, leading to several sightings, Kyodo said.