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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Thursday, October 11, 2007

FindMasumi.org seeks tips on tourist missing in Hawaii

Advertiser Staff

Hawaii news photo - The Honolulu Advertiser

Some City Council members handed out this flier in front of City Hall yesterday in hope of finding Masumi Watanabe.

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Current and former members of the City Council yesterday helped promote a new Web site designed to help find the body of a Japanese woman who disappeared six months ago on O'ahu's North Shore and is presumed dead.

The Web site, www.findmasumi.org, offers background on Masumi Watanabe, 21, and chronicles the search for her body.

Watanabe was last seen on Pupukea Road on April 12 getting into a Hauoli Termite and Pest Control company truck with a man inside.

Kirk Lankford, 22, was indicted by a grand jury on a charge of second-degree murder in her death. He is accused of murdering Watanabe on the day she disappeared by killing her or failing to get her help knowing that she was seriously harmed.

He remains in custody at O'ahu Community Correctional Center in lieu of $1 million bail. His trial starts Nov. 5.

City Councilman Donovan Dela Cruz, who represents the North Shore where Watanabe disappeared, was joined outside Honolulu Hale yesterday by Councilwoman Ann Kobayashi and former Councilwoman Rene Mansho in passing out fliers and "findMasumi.org" bumper stickers.

They hope the Web site generates tips that can lead to Watanabe's body so it can be returned to her family in Japan.

The councilmembers also asked anyone with information on the case to call Honolulu CrimeStoppers at 955-8300.