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US authorities closer to capturing fugitive f -

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ELIZABETH JACKSON: After five months on the run in the United States, the New Zealand man accused
of killing his wife and abandoning his daughter in Melbourne has been spotted in Texas.

The US Marshals Service says Michael Xue was seen in Houston within the last ten days and
investigators are now confident they're getting closer to catching him.

The 53-year-old arrived in Los Angeles in mid-September after leaving his three-year-old daughter
Qian Xun Xue, who was dubbed "Pumpkin" by the police, at Melbourne train station.

The body of his wife was found in the boot of the family car in New Zealand.

Our North America correspondent Kim Landers has been speaking to Chief Inspector Tom Hession, who's
been coordinating the nationwide man-hunt.

TOM HESSION: Our people and the people in Houston got together and started pounding the pavement
and working the case and confirmed several sightings of him in Houston and what we call, the gulf
coast area of the United States, which is Houston, New Orleans, the coast of Alabama and
Mississippi. And we've had confirmed sightings of him in Mobile, Alabama and Biloxi, Mississippi.

KIM LANDERS: So are you absolutely sure that these people have seen him? Is there no doubt that he
has been in these cities?

TOM HESSION: No doubt.

KIM LANDERS: So who are you getting your information from? How can they be so sure it was him?

TOM HESSION: They've had personal contact with him. And by his demeanour and some of the things
that he said and some of the conversations he's had with people that we've been able to confirm
that it is Mr Xue.

KIM LANDERS: And what has he been telling the people that he's come in contact with?

TOM HESSION: Well that's all part of the investigation and I can't really go into that right now.
Hopefully I'll be able to go into it after we have him in custody.

KIM LANDERS: So how close are you to actually getting him in custody?

TOM HESSION: Well we're a lot closer than we were. The trail had kind of grown a little cold. We're
confident that he's fairly desperate; that he's running out of options and things and we now have a
vehicle that he's been known to be driving and using. We've placed that vehicle in our national
database, so that if it's run by any law enforcement agency in the United States it will come back
on him and wanted.

KIM LANDERS: Is he travelling by himself? Is he getting help from somebody? I mean why has he been
going to cities like Houston and Biloxi and Mobile in Alabama?

TOM HESSION: That's still part of the investigation and we do have several theories but I'm not at
liberty to go into them right now. He has been getting some assistance unknowingly, from what we've
been able to tell so far.

I'm not sure there's really a method to his madness, or pattern that he's showing that he's got a
destination he's going to. I think he's just trying to stay out of trouble and not get locked up.

ELIZABETH JACKSON: Chief Inspector Tom Hession from the US Marshals speaking to our North America
correspondent Kim Landers.