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Hawaii police search for Randall Saito tried for murder

  • Randall Saito escaped from the Hawaii State Hospital, authorities said Tuesday 
  • Saito was acquitted by reason of insanity in the killing of Sandra Yamashiro, who was shot and stabbed before her body was found in her car at a mall in 1979
  • The 59-year-old was committed to hospital two years later in 1981, officials said 
  • Police warned people not to approach Saito, saying there's a concern he could commit the same 'very heinous and violent offense' again 

By Valerie Edwards For Dailymail.com and Associated Press

Published: 14:35 EST, 14 November 2017 | Updated: 03:04 EST, 15 November 2017

Randall Saito (pictured), 59, who was found not guilty of a 1979 murder by reason of insanity, escaped from the state psychiatric hospital and caught a flight from Maui
Randall Saito (pictured), 59, who was found not guilty of a 1979 murder by reason of insanity, escaped from the state psychiatric hospital and caught a flight from Maui

Randall Saito (pictured), 59, who was found not guilty of a 1979 murder by reason of insanity, escaped from the state psychiatric hospital and caught a flight from Maui

A Hawaii man found not guilty of murder by reason of insanity escaped from the state psychiatric hospital and caught a flight from Maui to an unknown destination, authorities said Tuesday.

Randall Saito was committed to the hospital in 1981 - two years after Sandra Yamashiro was killed at a shopping mall.

'He is a very dangerous individual,' said Wayne Tashima, a Honolulu prosecutor who argued in 2015 against Saito receiving passes to leave the hospital grounds without an escort.

Tashima warned people not to approach Saito, saying there's a concern he could commit the same 'very heinous and violent offense' again. 

Authorities asked anyone with information to call police.

Saito was acquitted by reason of insanity in the killing of Sandra Yamashiro, who was shot and repeatedly stabbed before her body was found in her car at the mall.

Honolulu police said Saito left the hospital near Honolulu on Sunday morning. 

He flew to Maui a short time later then caught a flight off the island.

FBI spokesman Arnold Laanui said agents were helping police find and apprehend Saito. 

He referred questions to Honolulu police, who didn't immediately respond to an email and phone message seeking comment.

Tashima warned people not to approach Saito (pictured in surveillance footage as he escaped), saying there's a concern he could commit the same 'very heinous and violent offense' again. Authorities asked anyone with information to call police 
Tashima warned people not to approach Saito (pictured in surveillance footage as he escaped), saying there's a concern he could commit the same 'very heinous and violent offense' again. Authorities asked anyone with information to call police 

Tashima warned people not to approach Saito (pictured in surveillance footage as he escaped), saying there's a concern he could commit the same 'very heinous and violent offense' again. Authorities asked anyone with information to call police 

FBI spokesman Arnold Laanui said agents were helping police find Saito. The state Department of Health operates the hospital (pictured), which houses over 300 patients in Kaneohe. The department said it's investigating the escape
FBI spokesman Arnold Laanui said agents were helping police find Saito. The state Department of Health operates the hospital (pictured), which houses over 300 patients in Kaneohe. The department said it's investigating the escape

FBI spokesman Arnold Laanui said agents were helping police find Saito. The state Department of Health operates the hospital (pictured), which houses over 300 patients in Kaneohe. The department said it's investigating the escape

Defense attorneys sought to have Saito released in 2000. 

But Jeff Albert, a deputy city prosecutor, objected, saying Saito 'fills all the criteria of a classic serial killer'.

In 1993, a court denied Saito's request for conditional release, saying he continued to suffer from sexual sadism and necrophilia.

The state Department of Health operates the hospital, which houses over 300 patients in Kaneohe. The department said it's investigating the escape.

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