HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - An effort is underway to bury a murder victim whose body has been stuck inside a morgue for seven years. But first the woman's family must find her husband, an Oahu man who is also a suspect in her murder.
Fumiko Ogawa's family isn't concerned with who the killer is. Right now they just want to get her remains before it's too late.
A search is on for Anthony Simoneau who lives on Oahu. He was questioned by police three years ago about the murder of his wife Fumiko Ogawa in San Diego.
"I miss my wife very much and I will state, for the record, I did not kill my wife. I love her very much," said Anthony Simoneau, told reporters on October 25, 2011.
For the past seven years Fumiko Ogawa's body has been in a freezer at the San Diego County Medical Examiner's office. It's been sealed, part of a criminal investigation. Because Fumiko's parents are elderly they want to give her a proper burial before they die.
"Nobody touched the case for awhile. We called the coroner's office and the coroner says okay just get the family's signature and we can release her body," said Shoji Konishi, Fukui Mortuary, who was hired to help get Ogawa's body released.
However the next of kin is still Anthony Simoneau. He has not been charged with murder, but has been accused of being a conman and a liar by others.
Simoneau still lives in Hawaii, working as a tour guide. Fumiko's family wants send him a letter asking approval to send Fumiko's ashes to Japan. Trouble is they don't know where to send it. They'd like to go through his attorney or probation officer but that hasn't happened yet.
"You never know. If something happens and we have a chance to release her body the family will be happy with that," said Konishi.
Fumiko's family says San Diego investigators have performed the autopsy, taken tissue samples and photographs. After seven years they feel it's time to release the remains.
The San Diego County Medical Examiner's office says the hold on the body is potentially in the process of being removed, but they would likely need Simoneau's approval.