Abduction and Murdered:
Time-Line of Masumi Watanabe's Case
Compiled by reports in the Honolulu Advertiser and other media.
September 2006: Masumi visits Hawai'i for the first time.
February 2007: Masumi returns to Hawai'i and lives with her host family in Pupukea.
April 12, 2007: Japanese visitor Masumi Watanabe is last seen walking on Pupukea Road about 9:20 a.m. She is reported missing that night and police start a missing person case.
April 13, 2007: A witness tells police he confronted a man with a flashlight digging a hole near Kahana Valley around midnight. The man leaves in a light-colored truck, but not before the witness notes the license plate number. The truck is identified as belonging to a Kalihi resident, and the witness later identifies the suspect as the man he saw digging the hole.
On the same day, another witness tells police she saw Watanabe getting into a Hauoli Termite and Pest Control truck through the driver's side door on the morning of April 12 near Alapio Road on Pupukea Road. The witness later says Watanabe looked confused and was not talking to the male driver.
April 14, 2007: Hauoli Termite and Pest Control officials tell detectives that the suspect was working in the Pupukea area on April 12. The suspect confirms this in a telephone conversation with police. Later that day at the police station, the suspect denies knowing, meeting or picking up Watanabe.
April 15, 2007: Police collect Watanabe's hairbrush, razor and toothbrushes from her residence.
April 16, 2007: The suspect is arrested at his workplace on an outstanding traffic warrant. His personal and company trucks are confiscated by police. Before he can be interviewed by police, he requests an attorney.
NOTE: On this day, 32 people are shot and killed at Virginia Tech. The nation goes into mourning.
April 17, 2007: Police find a pair of glasses in the suspect's company vehicle and blood on the right front seat and right front door panel.
April 19, 2007: Police interview Watanabe's parents, who say she is an extremely shy person and would not enter a stranger's vehicle. Her father says she would struggle if she had to defend herself. Masumi was scheduled to return to Japan today.
April 20, 2007: Tests show the glasses found in the truck match the prescription issued to Watanabe.
April 21, 2007: Tests show that DNA on the glasses matches DNA recovered from Watanabe's toothbrush.
April 26, 2007: Tests show DNA recovered from the passenger door panel matches Watanabe's DNA. Police arrest Lankford at 4:45 p.m. at his home.
April 27, 2007: The suspect is terminated from employment by Hauoli Termite and Pest Control.
April 28, 2007: The suspect is charged with second-degree murder. Bail is set at $1 million, and a preliminary hearing is scheduled for Wednesday.
April 29, 2007: The suspect makes first public court appearance in the case and says he's innocent.
May 2, 2007: The Kalihi man is charged with second-degree murder in the killing of 21-year-old Masumi Watanabe. Bail is set at $1 million. If convicted, the accused faces life in jail.
June 2, 2007: A vigil is held on Oahu's Sunset Beach on the north shore for Masumi.
June 26, 2007: Masumi's birthday, she would be 22 years old today.
July 9, 2007: The original trial date is postponed until the week of November 5, 2007.
July 24, 2007: A tip is received by HPD and a search is started in the hills of Kahana Valley. Police discontinue their search.
October 10, 2007: The findMasumi.org Website is officially launched.
November 5, 2007: Masumi Watanabe's trial for her murder originally scheduled on July 24, then postponed to November 5, has been further postponed to February 20, 2008.
December 4, 2007: Masumi's parents, Hideichi and Fumiko Watanabe, make their first public plea to the people of Hawaii for help in finding their daughter and to thank the many people who have been helping in her search.
February 20, 2008: The murder trial of Masumi Watanabe postponed until March 4, 2008. Presiding Judge: The Honorable Karl Sakamoto. Prosecuting Attorney: Peter Carlisle
March 4, 2008: Murder trial of Kirk Lankford begins in the First Circuit Court, Room #2 on the 3rd. floor of the Kaahuman'u Hale Court House in Honolulu, Hawaii. The Honorable Karl Sakamoto presiding judge and Honolulu City Prosecutor Peter Carlisle.
April 12, 2008: Memorial Service for Masumi Watanabe held at the Kawaiaha'o Church, Honolulu, Hawaii from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. Public welcome and volunteers needed.
April 14, 2008: Accused murderer Kirk Lankford is found guilty of Second-Degree Murder of Masumi Watanabe.
May 19, 2008: Prosecutor Carlisle withdraws 'enhanced sentencing' for Kirk Lankford.
May 31, 2008: Sentencing date at courtroom #2, the Honorable Karl Sakamoto, presiding judge.
August 2008: The Hawaii Parole Authority will determine the minimum time Kirk Lankford spends in prison.
April 12, 2009: Memorial Service for Masumi Watanabe held on Pupukea Road, Hawaii.
April 17, 2009: Hawaii Parole Authority sets minimum sentence: 150 years.
October 4, 2011: Hawaii Supreme Court refuses to hear appeal by Kirk Lankford.