Chinese murder suspect who spent a year on the run given away by his hat, China News

A murder suspect from central China who evaded efforts to catch him by cycling across five provinces has been detained by police after a year-long hunt.

The 49-year-old, surnamed Jia was arrested in Jingmen city, Hubei, in connection with the death of a neighbour 500km away in Henan province, local media reported.

Jia caught the attention of Jingmen policeman Feng Lin and his two colleagues as he cycled the streets with his luggage at about 2am on May 12. The officers said their attention was drawn to Jia’s black hat.

Jia appeared calm when he was asked to produce his identification card.

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China killer caught after using same method to kill wife and girlfriend

“I divorced my wife and I’m really upset,” he told the officers. “So I want to travel around. I’ve cycled from Henan province to Jingmen and my next stop is Xiangyang.”

Feng was sceptical about the cyclist’s tale and called colleagues at police control to double-check Jia’s identity. While they waited, Jia praised Feng’s commitment to his duty. Minutes later, Feng learned Jia was a suspect in a Henan murder case.

The officers said Jia appeared relieved as he was searched and handcuffed. He confessed to the killing at a police station in Jingmen.

In February last year, Jia had disputes with a neighbour surnamed Jiang. He broke into Jiang’s house, killed him and fled. In March, Henan police posted rewards for information that would lead to Jia’s arrest and put the fugitive on a wanted list.

He survived on steamed buns, free congee and by sleeping rough in the countryside. With 6000 yuan (S$1,195) cash in hand, Jia bought a second-hand bicycle for 30 yuan (US$4.50) and then cycled from Henan to Shaanxi, to Shanxi, to Hunan, Guangxi province, and was arrested on Sunday in Hubei.

This article was first published in South China Morning Post

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