US steps up manhunt for Pumpkin’s dad
United States police have stepped up the hunt for murder suspect Nai Xin after his abandoned three-year-old daughter Qian Xun Xue was reunited with her grandmother
Xue’s hopes of blending quietly into America’s vast Chinese community have been dashed after his face was plastered across the biggest-selling Chinese language paper in the US.
The sad tale of the murder of Xue’s wife, Anan Liu, in New Zealand and the dumping of Qian Xun at a Melbourne railway station made the front page of the Los Angeles-based Chinese Daily News.
The story included seven photos of Xue, his abandoned daughter and his murdered wife – whose body was found in his car outside their Auckland home.
Investigators hope the reports will spark leads in the search for Xue among the country’s 3.5 million Chinese Americans.
US authorities have confirmed Xue landed at Los Angeles international airport on Saturday, hours after dumping his daughter at Melbourne’s Southern Cross railway station.
US TV network ABC reported on Friday that Xue caught an airport shuttle bus to Chinatown, near the city’s downtown region, adding to the theory the publisher and martial arts expert hopes to blend in with the large Chinese community.
Xue also knows the area well having stayed in Los Angeles in 2000. The FBI, US Marshals, Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) and US immigration officials are involved in the hunt for Xue.
Meanwhile, Qian Xun will shortly be reunited with her grandmother, Liu Xiao Ping, in New Zealand.
New Zealand’s Associate Immigration Minister Clayton Cosgrove said the Government had fast-tracked Qian Xun’s grandmother’s travel to the country.
Mrs Liu is expected to be in New Zealand within 10 days and hopes to take custody of the little girl nicknamed Pumpkin.
“I am her closest and most important family member. She has got nobody apart from me,” she told Australia’s ABC Radio. “Anan was my only child, and she is my only granddaughter. I will do my utmost to bring her up.”
New Zealand’s Child Youth and Family (CYF), which is working with Victoria’s Department of Human Services (DHS), said Qian Xun would be brought back to New Zealand.
NZ Associate Minister of Social Development Ruth Dyson said after an assessment, it was likely Qian Xun’s grandmother would be able to take her back to China.
“She’s just discovered that her son-in-law has abandoned her granddaughter in Australia and is maybe in America and that her daughter is dead,” she told Radio New Zealand. “This must be a hugely traumatic situation for her, so we will be offering her every support we can and make sure that her granddaughter is reunited with her as soon as possible.”
DHS spokesman Brendan Ryan said Qian Xun would return to New Zealand when authorities there were ready for her.
Meanwhile, the DHS was ensuring Qian Xun “receives loving care from her foster parents here”.
Auckland police have conceded they could have looked earlier at the car in which Anan Liu’s body was found. Police have been under fire on numerous fronts for their handling of their investigation into death of Ms Liu and Qian Xun’s abduction.
The car was seized from outside their address in Keystone Avenue, Mt Roskill, about 11pm local time (9pm AEST) on Tuesday – two days after police first arrived at the house.
They did not find the body in the boot until 1pm local time (11am AEST) on Wednesday.
“I accept the fact that we may have to take it on the chin that we could have looked at that car maybe a bit quicker,” Detective Inspector Dave Pearson said. “We were possibly too cautious in complying with all the regulations and rules and looking towards evidence for court.”