The suspect in the killing of a British language teacher in Japan faces new charges of rape and murder, Sky News reported.

Lindsay Ann Hawker, 22, was found dead in a sand-filled bathtub on the balcony of an apartment in Chiba, east of Tokyo, in March 2007.

The property belonged to Tatsuya Ichihashi, one of her students, who went on the run after her body was discovered, Sky News reported.

He was captured and arrested by police in the western city of Osaka last month.

The 30-year-old was initially held on suspicion of abandonment of a body and has been formally indicted with that offence.

Japanese police have now added the charges of murder and rape resulting in death and can keep him in custody for 20 more days while they decide whether to indict him, Sky News reported.

Ichihashi has refused to speak about the case since his arrest and rejected food for two weeks before starting to eat again last week, police official Takeshi Otani said.

His lawyers said they believed he has been unable to talk because of fatigue and stress caused by his arrest.

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