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Hawaii State Hospital

A man acquitted of murder by reason of insanity has escaped from a mental hospital

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A man acquitted of a 1979 murder by reason of insanity recently escaped from a psychiatric hospital in Hawaii.

Honolulu police late Tuesday said Randall Saito is considered extremely dangerous and should not be approached.

Authorities added that Saito is believed to be in Northern California after escaping from a state facility in Kaneohe, a Honolulu suburb.

“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 also cautioned people against approaching Saito, arguing concern exists that he may commit the same “very heinous and violent offense” again.

Hawaii police said that Saito left the state hospital outside Honolulu last Sunday around 10 a.m. local time and did not return.

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Saito then took a taxi to a chartered plane in Honolulu bound for the Hawaiian island of Maui before boarding another plane to San Jose, California.

Hospital staff called 911 to report Saito’s absence shortly after 7:30 p.m. local time, police added, two hours after he landed in San Jose.

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An all-points bulletin for Saito was issued at 8:30 p.m. local time in Hawaii, and it remains unclear under what circumstances he exited the facility outside Honolulu.

Saito was committed to the hospital in 1981, two years after he was acquitted in the killing of Sandra Yamashiro.

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Yamashiro was shot and repeatedly stabbed before her body was found in her car in a mall in Hawaii.

Defense attorneys sought to secure Saito’s release in 2000, but a deputy city prosecutor objected to the idea.

“[Saito] fills all the criteria of a classic serial killer,” Jeff Albert said at the time of the mental health patient.

A court also denied Saito’s request for a conditional release in 1993, noting he continued to suffer from necrophilia and sexual sadism.

Hawaii’s state Department of Health operates the facility Saito fled, and it currently houses over 300 patients in Kaneohe.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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