Escaped Psychiatric Patient May Have Had Relationships With Staff, Court Records Show

Nov 16, 2017, 00:57
Escaped Psychiatric Patient May Have Had Relationships With Staff, Court Records Show

As of yesterday, November 14th, police are on the lookout for a serial killer who escaped a Hawaiian state psychiatric hospital near Honolulu.

Honolulu police said the 59-year-old Saito flew to Maui, and from there boarded a plane to San Jose.

Saito was committed to the state hospital in 1981 after his acquittal in the 1979 slaying of Sandra Yamashiro. He arrived at Mineta San Jose International Airport around 7:30 p.m. local time Sunday.

Saito was arrested in Stockton at about 10:30 a.m. PT this morning, the San Joaquin County Sheriff's Office said, "as the result of a tip received from an alert taxi cab driver". That tip was forwarded to authorities in Stockton, Kim said.

The Hawaii State Department of Health, which runs the hospital, declined to give details about the escape, citing an ongoing investigation and privacy laws.

According to Associated Press, Saito was the reason Hawaii's attorney general ruled in 2003 that mental patients don't have a legal right to conjugal visits.

This is a developing story.

The victim was shot and repeatedly stabbed before her body was found in her vehicle at a mall. He had sought release from the hospital for years but was denied. He boarded another plane from there, police said.

Officials also say that Saito had sexual relations with staff members at the hospital that was brought to light in documents from 1993, KGMB reported. Authorities urge people to not approach him.

Almost two decades later, the Honolulu Star-Bulletin reported that state prosecutors believed Saito to fit "all the criteria of a serial killer" and opposed his release.

"When they do escape, especially someone with this kind of a record, there is a high degree of concern, he could be violent and who knows", Tam said.

During the intensive psychological evaluation that followed the killing, authorities got a troubling and detailed understanding of Saito's mind - analysis that frequently included the words "violent" and "psychopath" and "predator". A hospital administrator learned that for two years, Saito had been escorted home for trysts.

Risky psychiatric patients have escaped recently from other facilities in the United States. Anthony Garver crawled out of a window of his ground-floor room at Western State Hospital, rode a bus 300 miles to Spokane and was captured days later without incident.

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