Nai Yin Xue a haunted man
Murder suspect accuses 'friends' of betrayal
Haunted by nightmares and exhausted after five months on the run, fugitive murder suspect Nai Yin Xue told his captors "you have betrayed me" as he was hog-tied and handed to American police.
A group of six Chinese Americans who befriended the murder suspect became suspicious only last week after seeing his photo in a Chinese-language newspaper.
One who had shared a room with Xue told The Dominion Post he knew the man was haunted because he would talk and cry in the night.
"I said to him, `What is in your heart?"' Guisen Wu said.
The group lured Xue, 54, to a meeting in the suburb of Chamblee, north of Atlanta, Georgia, where they pounced on him, binding his ankles with his belt and his hands with his pants and sitting on him till police arrived.
Police have praised their bravery and will nominate them for an award, but the only woman in the group, Ding Qing Chen, said it was her duty.
"I am not a hero. As a Chinese living overseas I feel I have the responsibility to help catch him."
Xue is wanted for the murder of his wife, Anan Liu, whose body was found in the boot of a car outside their home in Mt Roskill, Auckland. He abandoned his three-year-old daughter, Qian Xun Xue, dubbed Pumpkin, at a Melbourne railway station on September 15 and flew to the United States.
Speaking through interpreters, the group told The Dominion Post they visited police on Wednesday, local time, to say they had found Xue, but could not make themselves understood.
The group knew Xue as Mr Tang, a masseur who was looking to set up business in town. "We thought he was friendly," Guisen Wu said.
It wasn't till last Saturday when they saw Xue in the Chinese newspaper World Journal - striking exactly the pose he had shown them when demonstrating he was a kung fu master - that they realised he was the wanted man.
"He was really familiar, but he looked slightly different because his hair had been cut," Ms Chen said.
The group then hatched an elaborate plan to catch Xue, luring him to a noodle shop on Thursday (7am yesterday NZ time).
"We invited Xue for dumpling, but then we found it's not a good place to stop him." They took Xue back to an apartment, where he was jumped on from behind.
"He struggled for three to five minutes," Wei Chen said. "He tried to fight back by striking out with his elbow."
Xue branded his captors "traitors" in the tussle. One of the group left to call police.
Chamblee Police Department chief Marc Johnson said that when officers arrived Xue was having difficulty breathing, but was not injured. "It's not a pretty picture for the martial arts expert. He ended up with his pants around his ankles and tied up."
The group showed police the newspaper article and officers found his New Zealand licence, "which kind of gave it away", he said.
Xue had US$6500 (NZ$8000) on him.
Detective Senior Sergeant Simon Scott of Operation Patch said that, if Xue chose to fight his extradition, it could take up to 45 days to bring him back to New Zealand.
Mr Scott conceded it had been a tough time tracking the man. "It wasn't good for the first few months. The real break came with the second airing of the America's Most Wanted item on the 29th of December. Information flowed from that and from then on we have been in constant contact with the US Marshal service."
Pumpkin's grandmother in China, Liu Xiao Ping, the child's legal guardian, was informed yesterday morning of the arrest. "She was very pleased," Mr Scott said.
In New Zealand, Xue's first-born daughter, Grace, refused to comment on her father's arrest.
- The Dominion Post
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