WELLINGTON, New Zealand – Police issued a murder and kidnapping warrant Thursday for the father of a 3-year-old girl found abandoned in Australia after her mother's body was found stuffed in the trunk of a car in New Zealand.
The warrant for the arrest of Xue Naiyin, a Chinese-language magazine publisher in New Zealand's largest city of Auckland, has been sent to Interpol in the United States, where Xue fled several days ago, police spokeswoman Noreen Hegarty said.
A three-nation investigation was launched after Xue was captured on security camera footage leaving his daughter, Qian Xun Xue, alone at a train station in Melbourne, Australia, on Saturday. He boarded a flight to Los Angeles shortly afterward.
Police in New Zealand, where the family had lived since 2002, began searching for the girl's mother after suspecting foul play when she failed to come forward after her daughter was found in the train station.
Authorities on Wednesday discovered a woman's body in the trunk of Xue's car that was parked outside the family home.
Preliminary findings of a post-mortem examination had determined the body was that of Anan Liu, 27, Xue's wife and the child's mother, and that she had died "during a violent episode," police said in a statement.
U.S. authorities said they were looking for Xue, who arrived in Los Angeles on Saturday.
"We have a lot of information and right now it's just leads," Tom Hession of the U.S. Marshal Service told New Zealand's National Radio. "We don't have anything definitive; he could be anywhere."
New Zealand Immigration Minister Clayton Cosgrove said Thursday that officials had fast-tracked procedures to allow the girl's grandmother, Liu Xiaoping, to come to the country from China.
Liu Xiaoping has said she intends to travel to New Zealand, then Australia to try to take custody of Qian.
"What she is going through now has no doubt left scars on her heart," Liu Xiaoping told Australian Broadcasting Corp. radio.