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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Police search valley for body

Advertiser Staff

Acting on a tip, more than a dozen police officers yesterday searched areas off a hiking trail at the back of Kahana Valley for the body of Masumi Watanabe, a Japanese visitor who went missing April 12.

Officers received a tip that the man charged with murder in the case, Kirk Lankford, was seen at the back of the valley in the days following Watanabe's disappearance, police said.

Lankford pleaded not guilty May 7. He is being held on $1 million bail. His trial is scheduled for the week of July 9.

Watanabe, 21, was staying with a host family on the North Shore. She was last seen on her daily walk along Pupukea Road.