The man authorities want to question about the murder of Yale grad student Kevin Jiang on February 6 was acquainted with Jiang’s fiancee, the New Haven Independent reports.
Qinxuan Pan, 29 has been named a person of interest in the death of 26-year-old Jiang, who was found dead next to his Prius, which had rear-end damage, in New Haven’s East Rock neighborhood, as CrimeOnline previously reported.
The Independent reported that Pan and Zion Perry, Jiang’s fiancee, were acquainted from Perry’s time at MIT, where Pan is an artificial intelligence researcher. Perry, who became engaged to Jiang last week, graduated MIT last year. Jiang’s murder happened near Perry’s apartment.
Photographs show Pan and Perry chatting at a party a year ago at MIT, but there has been no suggestion that the two were romantically involved. New Haven Police Chief Otoniel Reyes, however, told the New Haven Register he was not ruling that out.
“We are exploring every angle related to this investigation and every person involved,” Reyes said
On Friday, US Marshals offered a $5,000 reward for information leading to Pan’s arrest and said he may be in Georgia.
Connecticut District Deputy U.S. Marshal Supervisor Matthew Duffy said Friday that an interview with family members of Pan prompted investigators to look south, the Register said. He was reportedly seen driving with family members in Duluth or Brookhaven, Georgia.
While investigators have not named Pan a suspect in Jiang’s death, they have warned that he should be considered armed and dangerous.
Meanwhile, North Haven Police Chief Kevin Glenn said at a news conference this week that his officers encountered Pan “soon after” the murder in the parking lot of a metal recycling facility, where his car had developed a flat tire. Glenn provided some details of the encounter to the Independent, telling the paper by email that his officers “did their job properly.”
“When officers arrived, they found Pan behind the wheel and the vehicle had a flat tire,” Glenn wrote. “At the time, there was no reason for the officers to do a sobriety test, or pat him down. The vehicle was checked and found to be properly registered. Mr. Pan had a valid license, and the vehicle was not reported stolen at the time.”
Police had Pan’s vehicle towed, and the tow driver dropped him off at a hotel. Later, Glenn said, a Massachusetts police department called and said “they were entering the vehicle as stolen.”
Officers returned to the hotel, only to find that Pan had left. Later, potential evidence was found in a bag dropped near a dumpster in an Arby’s parking lot. New Haven police have been at the recycling facility, the hotel, and the Arby’s this week seeking evidence.
The marshals service has offered a reward of up to $5,000 for information leading to Pan’s arrest.
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