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27 April 2012, 15:37
Police hunting a Chinese businessman wanted for killing a university lecturer, his wife and their two daughters have marked the anniversary of their killing by launching a world wide appeal to catch him and increasing a reward for £25,000 for his arrest.
Anxiang Du, 53, is the prime suspect for the murder of the family of four on the day of the Royal Wedding last year.
Jifing Ding, 46, his wife Helen, 47, daughters Xing, 18, and Alice, 12 - were found stabbed to death in their home in Simpson Manor, Wootton, Northampton on May 1 last year - two days after they were attacked.
The family had lived in the UK since the early 1990s.
Police named Du - a former business partner of Helen in herbal remedy shops - as their prime suspect. The killings on April 29 last year came the day after a court order froze his assets. They had been in a business dispute for 9 years.
DCI Tom Davies, who is leading the investigation, said:
"We believe he has been assisted and had left the UK fairly shortly after the murders."
He said there had 380 sightings of Du - including in the UK, France, Spain and Gibralter, but there had been no confirmed sightings of him anywhere in the world.
Du, from Coventry, was caught on CCTV travelling by train from Birmingham where he worked to Northampton. He then caught a bus to Wootton arriving at around twenty past one on the Friday.
The killings happened between 3pm and 4pm. The parents were killed downstairs and the children upstairs. They were all stabbed in the chest.
He left the scene in a silver Corsa car - registration number B60PMO - that had been hired by Xing. It was discovered in north west London. CCTV picked Du up in Venables Street, Westminster at 2.27am on Saturday 30 April. Police say he is 5' 9" and of slim build. His family reported him missing on Friday 29 April. He left them a "goodbye note."
Neighbours raised the alarm after not seeing the family for two days and their bodies were found.
It was revealed that Xing, made an abandoned, screaming 999 call during the killings. An investigation by the Independent Police Complaints Commission found that the call was not correctly identified and led the police to focus on the wrong address.
The force acknowledged that while it is unlikely the family could have been saved, it is possible they could have caught Du if the call had been properly identified.
The car was found by a member of the public in a mixed residential and commercial area in North West London at half past one on Wednesday afternoon.
Earlier this month DCI Davies returned from China where he and two other detectives spoke to associates of Du and relatives of the Ding family in the city of Hangzhou.
DCI Davies they had briefed the Chinese police and the family of the victims including the grandparents who were in their 80's. "We still have on going inquiries with Chinese law enforcement. The family visited a shrine to the family outside Hangzhou
Mr Ding taught at Manchester Met University, Mrs Ding worked part-time as a Mandarin teacher at Caroline Chisholm School in Northampton, where Alice was a Year Seven student. Xing was a sixth form student and deputy head girl at Northampton High School. Both girls were talented musicians.
Last week Northants police arrested four people in connection with the murder.
A 54-year-old woman from Radford, Coventry, a 39-year-old woman in Gloucester, a 25-year-old man in Islington, London and a 22-year-old woman from Southend, Essex were all arrested on suspicion of assisting an offender. They have all been bailed.