LiTEBOX CEO Yanagihara dies at 52

Published: .
Updated: .

13 Investigates has learned a businessman who planned to bring more than 1,000 jobs to Indianapolis has died.

Bob Yanagihara, president and CEO of LiTEBOX, died this week, according to a representative from his investment firm, Cappello Capital Investment Corporation California.@Several of Yanagihara's business associates tell Eyewitness News he had been battling cancer for several months.

Yanagihara planned to build a new factory on the northwest side of Indianapolis to create a fleet of huge mobile movie screens.@

"You people will be so proud to have new jobs springing up left and right," he said in an October 2011 press conference, flanked by Indianapolis mayor Greg Ballard, then-governor Mitch Daniels and excited officials from the Indiana Economic Development Corporation.

Despite the big press conference and lots of fanfare from state officials, the project has been in doubt ever since due to questions about the project's funding and viability.@Daniels called Yanagihara "visionary" for his LiTEBOX project at the job announcement, but he later said that premature support of a project that had not been thoroughly vetted was one of his biggest missteps of 2011.

Wednesday morning, the Minnesota engineering company that is building the first prototype of the LiteBox mobile movie screen told WTHR development of the prototype has been on hold for months due to Yanagihara's failing health.

Yanagihara was 52.