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The BBC's Charles Scanlon
"For the Blackman family the nightmare never seems to end"
 real 56k

Monday, 26 February, 2001, 05:21 GMT
Lucie's father makes emotional trip
Tim and Sophie Blackman
Tim Blackman and daughter Sophie on an earlier trip to Tokyo
The father of murdered Briton Lucie Blackman has arrived in Tokyo on a mission to bring her body home.

Tim Blackman, who arrived with his partner and Lucie's brother and sister, Rupert and Sophie, said his last trip to Tokyo would be "sad and emotional".

His 22-year-old daughter, who worked as a hostess in a Tokyo bar, went missing last July.

Her remains were found earlier this month in a cave close to the home of a businessman who has been charged with a series of rapes.

Mr Blackman, 48, from Ryde in the Isle of Wight, said he planned to visit the beach where Lucie's remains were found buried in a shallow pit.
Lucie Blackman left British Airways to travel round the world
Lucie had left British Airways to travel round the world

Lucie's mother Jane Blackman, who lives in Sevenoaks in Kent, arrived in Tokyo on Saturday.

Japanese police have completed their forensic tests and the body will be ready for transport in about a week.

A cremation service is being planned near Mrs Blackman's home in Kent.

Mr Blackman's campaign to find his daughter attracted the attention of the media and politicians which helped galvanise a major investigation.

Detectives are continuing to build their case against the chief suspect, businessman Joji Obara, but have yet to press any formal charges.

Mother's grief

Earlier Mr Blackman's ex-wife Jane spoke to the BBC about her grief at the loss of her "beautiful" daughter and said she had not been able to come to terms with the horror of her death.

She also said she planned to move house because the memories of her daughter were too painful.
Jane Blackman
Jane Blackman at a press conference in Tokyo

She said: "Her bedroom still smells of her, it just has too many memories.

"With my other children we sat down and discussed it and we all feel the same.

"I have been grieving in slow motion but now I know she is definitely dead I will have to face up to it.

"I am in the denial stage at the moment because it is too hideous to contemplate."

Cave discovery

The remains of the former British Airways stewardess were found earlier this month near a cave at Miura, at the mouth of Tokyo Bay, about 30 miles south of the capital.

Police found feet, a hand, a section of leg and her head, partly encased in cement.

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See also:

10 Feb 01 | Asia-Pacific
Remains identified as missing Lucie
14 Nov 00 | Asia-Pacific
Lucie's father appeals to hostesses
28 Dec 00 | Asia-Pacific
DNA 'link' to missing Lucie
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