Randall Saito was arrested at a gas station in Stockton on Wednesday after escaping from a psychiatric hospital in Hawaii and fleeing to California.
Sandra Yamashiro was found dead in her car at the Ala Moana Center in 1979. She had been found with a shot in the face from a pellet gun and repeated stab wounds. Saito reportedly selected her at random.
Two years later, a judge cleared Saito of charges due to insanity and a psychiatric hospital in Honolulu later admitted him.
He has requested for conditional release in 1993. Prosecutors denied his request because he was found to still suffer from sexual sadism and necrophilia.
Court records from that case claim that Saito had several sexual relationships with hospital staff.
Deputy city prosecutor Jeff Albert objected to Defense attorneys’ request to have Saito released in 2000, saying Saito “fills all the criteria of a classic serial killer.”
To date, Saito has stayed in the hospital for 36 years. The hospital allowed him to freely roam the grounds, provided that he periodically check in with the staff, despite his violent tendencies.
However, last Sunday, he failed to check in. Footage from the hospital shows Saito leaving without carrying anything. But, on a video from the taxi that took him to the airport, he wore a hat and carried a large backpack. Police believe that the bag contained a fake passport and a cellphone.
On arriving to a Honolulu airport, he took a private charter plane to Maui and then boarded a flight to San Jose, California.
The state Department of Health operated the hospital. It houses over 300 patients. The department said that it is investigating Saito’s escape.
According to a report by NBC, this is not the first time that a patient escaped the facility.
Honolulu prosecutor Wayne Tashima, who was against Saito gaining permission to leave the hospital unescorted, says that he is a very dangerous individual. He warned never approach Saito. He also said there’s possibility that Saito could commit the same crime again.
The FBI and U.S. Marshals Service worked together to search for him.
Wednesday morning, a taxi driver who identified Saito called in and reported him. Deputies arrested Saito without incident. He is being detained at the San Joaquin County Jail. He is facing charges of escape in the second degree.
[Featured Image by Maui Police Department/AP Images]