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Police arrest suspect who killed two families
By Ma Lie (China Daily)
Updated: 2004-08-20 15:41

XI'AN: The suspected killer of all eight members of two related families has been arrested by local police in Zhen'an County, Northwest China's Shaanxi Province.

Farmer Jian Xueliang, 35, from Zhashui County in southern Shaanxi Province, admits hacking eight of his neighbours to death before fleeing.

His victims included children of four and 10, a pair of 15-year-old twins and a grandfather of 80.

The eight dead were from two families related by the brothers Yang, who both lived in the same Mingxing Village as Jian.

After the killings, on Friday, some 500 local police launched a 13-hour man hunt in the village and surrounds, but found nothing.

Local police in the county offered 50,000 yuan (US$6,000) for information leading to Jian's arrest.

Reports of a sighting came in on Wednesday lunchtime in a neighbouring county.

After some eight hours' search, local police picked Jian up hiding in nearby mountains, local police said.

Jian has already admitted the killings but further investigations are under way, local police said.

Jian was jailed in 1999 for raping Yang Rongwen's new bride, Yu Xiaojun, and was released in October last year, local police said.

Jian always denied rape and claimed the two had simply been having an affair, villagers said.

The 80-year-old victim was Yu's grandfather.

Jian reportedly began his slashing spree late Friday at Yang Rongyuan's home, killing him and his 15-year-old twins, a boy and a girl.

Police found Yang Rongyuan dead in his bed, and the twins in a sofa in front of the television. The three had suffered deep axe wounds to their necks.

Yang's other daughter, Yang Yan, 19, escaped with her life because she was at school.

Jian then attacked Yang Rongwen, Yu, their four-year-old daughter, Yu's grandfather and Yu's 10-year-old nephew.

Local villagers called Jian "a thug" and said relations with his neighbours had deteriorated on his release from jail.

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