The manhunt continues for a psychiatric hospital patient in Hawaii once described as fitting “all the criteria of a classic serial killer,” who escaped from custody earlier this week and flew to California, according to multiple news reports.
Randall Saito, 59, landed in in San Jose, California, on Sunday night after leaving the Hawaii State Hospital earlier that day, according to the Associated Press, and TV stations Hawaii News Now and KGO.
Police in Honolulu, Hawaii, reportedly said Saito flew from Maui after he left the hospital outside Kaneohe, Hawaii, around 10 a.m. Sunday. It remains unclear how he was able to leave the facility, though police believe he took a taxi from the facility to Honolulu, where he chartered a plane to Maui and then flew again to California.
Saito was found not guilty by reason of insanity in the 1979 murder of Sandra Yamashiro in a Honolulu shopping mall, according to these news reports, and he was committed to the hospital in 1981.
Yamshiro had been stabbed and shot in the face and her body was found in her car.
Police said Saito arrived in San Jose two hours before hospital staff reported his disappearance, according to the AP.
He is described as about 6 feet tall and 220 lbs., with black hair and brown eyes.
“Saito is considered extremely dangerous and should not be approached,” police said in a statement Tuesday. The FBI and U.S. Marshals Service are also involved in the investigation.
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Saito has sought repeatedly to be released from the hospital, according to the AP. A court denied his request for conditional release in 1993, finding that he continued to exhibit evidence of sexual sadism and necrophilia.
Defense attorneys again moved for his release in 2000, but prosecutors argued he “fills all the criteria of a classic serial killer.”
“He is a psychopathic predator whose mental condition continues to represent a serious danger to the community,” Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Jeffrey Albert reportedly said in 2002.
Hawaii State Hospital Administrator William May told the AP that the hospital staff would be conducting an internal review as to how Saito escaped and if he had help from someone inside the facility.
The state’s Department of Health also said it was investigating. Hawaii authorities could not immediately be reached for comment on Wednesday morning.
“He’s a smart guy, he’s not impulsive,” one Hawaii State Hospital employee told Hawaii News Now of Saito. “It’s not an impulsive act. He had some planning. He had someone on the outside.”
Anyone with information about Saito is urged to call 808-244-6400 or 808-587-3623.