YOKOSUKA NAVAL BASE, Japan — A USS Kitty Hawk sailor missing since April 13 was apprehended by the Naval Criminal Investigative Service on Nov. 8, the Navy said Tuesday.

Airman Kenneth D. Lee was picked up by NCIS agents in Tokyo outside the apartment of a female Japanese friend and taken to Yokosuka Naval Base, Kitty Hawk spokesman Lt. Bill Clinton said in an e-mail.

“I don’t know the specifics of how Lee was apprehended, but I do know that the family was extremely worried — and rightly so,” said Cmdr. Jon Lundquist, Yokosuka’s chief staff officer. “And then just to find out that their son was just hanging out in Tokyo — it all just seems like such a shame.”

Lundquist said Lee “did not voluntarily turn himself in. Right now Lee is in pre-trial confinement.”

NCIS declined to comment on the case.

The Lee family simply is happy Kenneth Lee is safe.

“We are just so elated that we just don’t know what to do,” said Lee’s mother, Cherri Lee, on hearing from her missing son.

“Last month, when we were in Japan, my husband was told that the Navy had an address for [the woman’s parents] and had already made contact, although the Navy denied it,” she said in an e-mail Tuesday to Stars and Stripes.

The Lee family flew to Japan and spent a week handing out missing-person fliers.

“Whether my son or someone else’s child, I just can’t bear to think that the Navy would leave them out there!” Lee said, adding that she “will not accept any one of our young people being left out there, and you shouldn’t either. These young men and women have a responsibility to live up to their commitment to the U.S. military.”

According to Clinton, because Lee had been absent from the Kitty Hawk for more than 180 days, he already had been administratively transferred from the ship to the base.

“CFAY (Yokosuka Naval Base) has this issue for resolution,” Clinton said.

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