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U.S. deports wife killer suspect

  • Story Highlights
  • Murder suspect deported to New Zealand by U.S. immigration officers
  • Nai Yin Xue allegedly killed his wife and abandoned their daughter
  • The 3-year-old child, nicknamed 'Pumpkin', was left at a train station
  • The case sparked an international manhunt for the suspect
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ATLANTA, Georgia (CNN) -- A man accused of killing his wife in New Zealand and then abandoning the couple's 3-year-old daughter at an Australian train station has been deported to New Zealand to face murder charges, U.S. immigration officials announced Sunday.

Nai Yin Xue was arrested February 28 after a months-long, three-nation manhunt that ended when residents of a Chamblee, Georgia, apartment complex recognized him from a Chinese-language newspaper.

Agents from the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency escorted Xue from Atlanta to New Zealand on Sunday, the agency announced in a written statement.

Xue is accused of killing his wife, Anan Liu, 27, and putting her body in the trunk of a car outside the couple's Auckland, New Zealand, home in September 2007. Days later, authorities said, he abandoned the couple's 3-year-old daughter at a train station in Australia.

The child became known internationally as "Pumpkin" because of a label in the sweater she was wearing.

Police in New Zealand said Zue will appear Monday in court in Auckland.

"We have now taken custody of Mr Xue and obviously are pleased to be able to progress our investigation into the prosecution phase," Detective Senior Sergeant Simon Scott said in a written statement.

U.S. authorities said Xue -- who holds dual citizenship in China and New Zealand -- then flew to Los Angeles. He arrived on September 15, the day his daughter was discovered at the train station, police said.

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Xue entered the United States under a pilot program that allows citizens of certain countries to enter for up to 90 days without a visa. Julie Myers, the assistant homeland security secretary in charge of immigration and customs, said he "took advantage of our country's visa waiver program in order to evade New Zealand authorities."

"The United States will not serve as a safe haven for those attempting to flee from the law," she said in a written statement. E-mail to a friend E-mail to a friend

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