The parents of a man murdered while on his honeymoon in Ecuador returned to Japan on Monday afternoon, bringing with them the ashes of their son.
Tetsuo Hitomi, 28, and his wife Mariko, 27, were married in Japan on Dec 22. They were in Guayaquil, en route to the Galapagos Islands, on their honeymoon when they were shot on Dec 28. According to Japanese media reports, the couple had finished dinner at a restaurant and hailed a taxi to take them back to their hotel. Along the way, the taxi pulled over and they were attacked by a gang of eight. Tetsuo was shot in the chest and died at the scene, while Mariko was shot in the abdomen and leg and remains in a serious but stable condition in hospital.
Reporters asked Hitomi's father for a comment as he and his wife came through the arrival lobby at Narita international airport late Monday. He said he had brought his son's ashes home, TV Asahi reported. He also thanked the Ecuadorean authorities for all they were doing to find his son's killers.
The Ecuadorean government has offered a reward the equivalent of $200,000 for information leading to the arrest of the killers. On Monday, Interior Minister Jose Serrano told a news conference that police are close to identifying the suspects after examining surveillance camera footage and speaking with witnesses, TV Asahi reported.
The taxi driver, who has not been found, is believed to be one of the gang. Police said that many taxi drivers in the city belong to gangs and use their taxis to lure tourists to spots where they can be ambushed.© Japan Today