Pumpkin case: Latest

Hit 'refresh' for the most up-to-date information on the search for three-year-old Qian Xun Xue's father Nai Yin Xue, suspected of the murder of her mother An An Liu.

1.15pm: Police know the cause of An An Liu's death but will not reveal it. They will only say she died after a violent incident.

1.04pm: A Government agency was looking for Xue just hours after he arrived in the US, but NZ police won't say why.

1.02pm: Delay in searching the boot will be investigated.

1.01pm: Police press conference held in Auckland. Police say information being shared with US authorities by email.

11.10am: Police have interviewed the shuttle driver thought to have taken Xue to Chinatown in LA.

10.07am: Police have for the first time conceded that they could have looked in the car where they found the body of An An Liu earlier.

Auckland police spokesman Detective Inspector David Pearson said investigators were possibly too cautious in complying with all the rules.

9.00am: It was reported in the US that Xue caught an airport shuttle bus to Chinatown after arriving at LA international airport on Saturday.

The story has been picked up by the US media with Fox News, the Los Angeles Times, ABC and CNN running it.

7.08am: Qian Xun Xue, known as Pumpkin, is set to come back to New Zealand to be reunited with her grandmother Liu Xiao Ping.

Grace Xue, Nai Yin Xue's daughter from a first marriage has said she would like to foster Pumpkin.

THURSDAY

3.00pm: Police confirmed that the body of a women discovered in the boot of a car yesterday was that of 27-year-old An An Liu.

A post-mortem examination, carried out this morning, found that she died during a violent episode but the police are not looking for any weapons in connection with the death..

A warrant is now out for Nai Yin Xue's arrest for the murder of An An Liu and the abduction of their daughter Qian Xun Xue.

Police Commissioner Howard Broad admits officers did not think the car An An Liu's body was discovered in was of great significance.

Responding to criticism over the time it took investigators to discover her body and he admits he is disappointed it took so long for police to discover the body.

An Auckland, man known as John, tells Newstalk ZB he met Xue at a holding cell at court where Xue tod him he was going to murder his wife.

WEDNESDAY

4pm: Police tell media they have discovered the body of an Asian female in a car parked at the Xue's Auckland home.

The body has yet to be identified but Detective Senior Sergeant Simon Scott said An An Xue's missing persons inquiry had been upgraded to a homicide inquiry.

Police also confirmed a sighting of Mrs Xue on Tuesday afternoon in Balmoral.

12.43pm: Police said they are set to make an announcement on the case at 4pm this afternoon.

11.52am: Detective Federico Sicard of the foreign prosecution liaison unit at Los Angeles police said they have not received a request for help from Australia or New Zealand police.

He said Interpol could not investigate because no arrest warrant had been issued.

Interpol in California and New York could not be contacted to confirm this.

Auckland police spokeswoman Noreen Hegarty was not able to confirm or deny if an arrest warrant had been issued.

10.56am: Police appeal to the Auckland Chinese community to ring them, rather than radio stations, with information about Mrs Xue.

Inquiry head Detective Senior Sergeant Simon Scott said: "I know there's a lot of talk in the Chinese community with people ringing talkback and giving information to talkback hosts, but the police are the people who are investigating this matter. We need that information."

10.53am: Immigration law expert, Erskine Rodan, said Pumpkin's grandmother could collect her from Australia, but it was unlikely they would be allowed to stay there.

Mr Rodan told Australian newspaper the Herald Sun: "They could apply to the Immigration Minister to allow Grandma to stay here, but they don't fit the definition of refugees and New Zealanders are no longer entitled to automatic permanent residence with sponsorship rights."

It is possible the grandmother and Pumpkin could return to China or New Zealand where, as a citizen, Pumpkin could sponsor her to stay. If her grandmother was unable to claim her, it was likely she would be made a ward of the state in Victoria and possibly put up for adoption.

10.31am: Police say there has been no activity on Mrs Xue's bank accounts since last Monday and the mobile number the police have goes directly to voicemail.

10.28am: Sources told Australian newspaper, The Age, that Mr Xue held a large kitchen knife to his wife's stomach and "threatened to kill her for not returning his love". He then bashed her, leaving her right eye swollen and bruised and her nose bloody.

10.26am: Police have a new, unconfirmed sighting of Mrs Xue - on Tuesday, September 11.

They have also heard from Mr Xue's "missing" elder daughter who is safe and well.

10.15am: The Women's Refuge has confirmed reports that An An Xue spent time in the care of the organisation.

Refuge chief executive Heather Henare said Mrs Xue and her daughter stayed at a refuge centre in Auckland for about a month last September.

Ms Henare said Mrs Xue was helped to get protection and parenting orders but left the refuge, leaving no forwarding address, before they were completed.

8.42am: Police say they are no closer to finding Mrs Xue.

8.41am: National MP Pansy Wong says she has spoken to Mrs Xue's mother in China and she is making efforts to come to New Zealand.

6.51am: Grandparents to seek custody of Pumpkin, Australian media report.

TUESDAY

6.20pm: A former employee of the Chinese Times, owned by Mr Xue, was awarded over $3000 after an employment court hearing last year.

The employee moved from a position as chief editor at the paper to a sales position but was not told that the new position was not full-time or that the wage would be reduced. He was later fired.

The former employee received $3310. The case appears in brief on the Department of Labour website.

4.45pm: Unitec reveals that one of its students had made a video with Xue Naiyin about his search for his missing older daughter from an earlier marriage.

She is still missing but in the video Mr Naiyin speaks of wanting to be a better father to his three-year-old daughter than he was to his older child.

The video footage is to screen on TV3's Campbell show tonight.

4.00pm: Police hold a media conference. They announce that Mrs Xue's car has been found at Auckland International Airport but they do not think she has left the country.

They confirm Pumpkin's parents have a history of domestic violence and that they have "grave concerns" for Mrs Xue's safety but stress that it is a missing persons case.

Police are reviewing CCTV footage from the airport and from a visit by Mr Xue to Henderson Police Station. Officers have also cordoned off a Mt Roskill address but are yet to carry out a forensic investigation there.

They refer to the "abduction" of Pumpkin

3.19pm: The girl will remain in the care of Melbourne's Department of Human Services (DHS) for at least three weeks.

DHS spokesman Brendan Ryan says that if family members cannot be found after that time, the department will seek an extension of the order.

It would then be up to DHS and its New Zealand counterpart CYF to decide if Qian Xun should be returned to Auckland.

2.58pm: The Age reports Mr Xue had lunch on Wednesday in a restaurant in Auckland, accompanied by a boy aged about seven. Raymond Tang, the owner of the restaurant, said Mr Xue appeared calm throughout lunch but he did not know who the boy was.

"He was trying to call a friend on the landline," he said.

2.14pm: Members of Chinese community offer to take the toddler if her mother is not found, editor of the Sky Kiwi website says.

1.55pm: A police officer answered the phones at the Chinese Times, at which Mr Xue is publisher, and confirmed that they were in the building for investigations.

1.44pm: Police to hold a press conference regarding Anan Liu at 4pm.

1.16pm: The Chinese-language Skykiwi website reported that the last time Mr Xue and his daughter were seen in Auckland was at a restaurant called Love a Duck in Dominion Road at 1.30pm last Thursday.

11.38am: Workers in the building used by the father say he has not been for a week.

11.16am: news.com.au reports the father was previously known to police and CYFs had investigated the family.

10.39am: Police say it is not known if Pumpkin will be returned to New Zealand, say the focus is on finding relatives.

10.17am: National MP Patsy Wong says Annie was a quiet person and she and her daughter were inseparable.

9.41am: Police name the mother as Anan Liu, 27, (known as Annie) and confirm there is no sign of her at addresses searched in Auckland.

8.34am: Police in NZ say they now have fears for the safety of Pumpkin's mother.

7.55am: Victoria Police say there has been no progress in the case overnight.

7am: Melbourne Age reports the couple had separated and wife had travelled to Wellington but they had since got back together.


HOW IT UNFOLDED AFTER XUE TOOK QIAN TO MELBOURNE

Thursday, September 13: Three-year-old Qian Xun Xue, known as Pumpkin, and her father, Nai Zin Xue, arrived in Melbourne on New Zealand passports at 7.45 pm.

Friday, September 14: The father bought a plane ticket to Los Angeles.

Saturday, September 15: They spent two nights in a city hotel, then went to the Southern Cross railway station on Saturday morning.

Closed-circuit TV camera film shows the girl's father leading her by the hand and pulling a suitcase behind him at about 8am when he then leaves her at the base of the escalator.

Fifteen minutes later security staff spotted her wandering alone.

The father went directly from the station to the airport and left Australia on a flight bound for Los Angeles.

The father is believed to have got off a plane in Los Angeles and American authorities were alerted.

Sunday, September 16: Australian police try to unravel who the girl is and where the father has gone.

Monday, September 17: Two days after being taken into care Pumpkin speaks for the first time asking for her mother.

Attempts to contact the three-year-old's mother, Anan Liu, unsuccessful.

Three addresses in the Auckland are visited in the search for the mother without success.

Tuesday, September 18: Fears mount for the safety of the mother, the girl remains in care in Melbourne.

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