HONOLULU – A Hawaii man acquitted of murder on grounds of insanity, escaped from the state psychiatric hospital and caught a flight from Maui to an unknown destination, authorities said Tuesday.
Randall Saito was committed to the hospital in 1981 — two years after the woman was killed at a shopping mall.
“He is a very dangerous individual,” said Wayne Tashima, Honolulu prosecutor who argued in 2015 against Saito received passes to leave the hospital grounds without an escort.
Tashima warned people not to approach Saito, saying: there is a concern that he may commit the same “very horrific and violent crime”. Authorities asked anyone with information to call the police.
Saito was acquitted on account of insanity in the killing of Sandra Yamashiro, who was shot and repeatedly stabbed before her body was found in her car at the mall.
Honolulu police said Saito left the hospital in the neighborhood of Honolulu on Sunday morning. He flew to Maui a short time later caught a flight off the island.
FBI spokesman Arnold Laanui said agents were helping the police find and arrest Saito. He referred questions to Honolulu police, who do not immediately respond to an e-mail and phone message seeking comment.
Defense attorneys wanted Saito released in 2000. But, Jeff Albert, a deputy city prosecutor, objected, saying Saito “fills all the criteria of a classic serial killer.”
In 1993, a judge denied Saito’s request for conditional release, says he continued to suffer from sexual sadism and necrophilia.
The Ministry of Health operates the hospital, which houses more than 300 patients in Kaneohe. The department said the investigation into the escape.