Masumi Watanabe's Father Wants Lankford To Give Up Body's Location

HONOLULU (KHNL) -- The father of murdered Japanese tourist Masumi Watanabe says he wants the killer to tell him where her body is.

Speaking by phone from Sado Island, Japan, Hideichi Watanabe thanks the jury in the Kirk Lankford trial, and says he and his wife are grateful for the conscientious verdict.

"With words of the news, we could not stop our tears from flowing," the victim's father said through an interpreter.

The body of his daughter, 21-year-old Masumi Watanabe, hasn't been found.

Lankford, who maintains the death was an accident, was convicted of murder Monday. The victim's father believes the former pest control technician lied when he testified he dumped the body in the ocean.

"A man of the sea myself, I understand the ocean and its conditions," Hideichi Watanabe said. "In the event that he says what he did, I believe the body would have surfaced."

He says Lankford should be sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole for the safety of the community.

He also thanks Hawaii residents for their kindness during this ordeal.

"Although I lost a very valuable daughter, through this loss, beauty and kindness has surfaced and our family has a debt of gratitude to the people of Hawaii," Mr. Watanabe said. "Thank you very much."

The victim's parents say they plan to return to Hawaii for Lankford's sentencing.