GIFU – The parents of murder suspect Tatsuya Ichihashi said Wednesday they were happy he was finally arrested after more than two years on the lam.
“I’m relieved that he was arrested. He caused us pain,” Ichihashi’s 58-year-old father said at a news conference in Hatori, Gifu Prefecture. “It was painful to watch him (on TV) being mobbed” by reporters.
His 58-year-old mother said she recognized her son from around the chin on a TV program featuring his arrest, even though he has undergone cosmetic surgery.
Neither of their given names were released.
They described Ichihashi as a kind person.
When a family dog died about three years ago, he called home and asked in tears not to bury the pet until he could get there, they said.
“Our son should know how precious a person’s life is,” the father said. “I hope he will sincerely tell the truth.
“His arrest is the first step for him to pay for his crime and be brought to justice,” he said. “I can’t stand him having had such surgery to try to get away with it. . . . Running away must have added to the pain and sorrow of the family of Miss Lindsay and of us.”
Both parents are doctors. While Ichihashi was in high school in Gifu, he belonged to an elite university preparatory science class.
“He was a member of the track and field club because he could run fast,” a father of one of his classmates said. “He was the bright guy in the class.”
After failing the college entrance exam in his first attempt, he eventually entered a university but dropped out after a year. At age 22 he enrolled in Chiba University’s horticulture department.
“Because both of his parents are doctors, I thought he had naturally proceeded on the same path,” said a woman who lives near the Ichihashi family.