THE family of a former Leeds University teacher murdered in Japan have called for official confirmation their daughter’s alleged killer has undergone plastic surgery.
Lindsay Hawker’s naked and battered body was found in a bathtub full of sand in Tokyo.
The 22-year-old teacher, from Brandon, near Coventry, was pursuing her dream of teaching English in Japan after graduating from university.
She was last seen on March 25, 2007 with Tatsuya Ichihashi, now 30, and her body was discovered on the balcony of his flat in Tokyo.
Since then the 30-year-old - Japanese police’s only suspect - has been on the run, and yesterday reports emerged he may have undergone cosmetic surgery to change his appearance.
But despite the rumours, which appeared in local Japanese media quoting unnamed sources, Ms Hawker’s family said they had not received any confirmation of their truth.
In a statement, they said: "The family are receiving reports from Japan that Ichihashi has undergone surgery of some sort in both Nagoya and Osaka. None of the reports have been confirmed.
"The family have been flooded with inquiries from Japanese and British media and are obviously distressed by the situation.
"They have received no official confirmation of any of the reports despite attempts to do so.
"The Hawkers would like to know who the surgeons were, where Ichihashi - the only suspect - obtained the money for the operations and who is hiding him. Which hospitals or clinics carried out the work, and why would they operate on a man who is allegedly the most wanted man in Japan?"