The U.S. Marshals Service announced Monday evening that it’s expanding its manhunt nationwide for MIT researcher Qinxuan Pan, a suspect wanted in the murder of Yale University graduate student Kevin Jiang, after efforts to locate him with relatives in Georgia for weeks have failed.
Pan, described by authorities as a 29-year-old, 6-foot Asian male weighing 170 pounds, was last seen in the early morning hours on Feb. 11 driving with family members in Brookhaven or Duluth, Georgia. Family told investigators that Pan was carrying a black backpack and acting strange when they last saw him, the U.S. Marshals Service said.
On Saturday, the New Haven, Conn., police department obtained an arrest warrant charging Pan with the murder of Jiang.
He had already been wanted for questioning for weeks after Jiang was fatally shot at the corner of Lawrence and Nicholl streets in New Haven on Feb. 6 outside his vehicle. Additional warrants for his arrest in Connecticut and Massachusetts charged Pan with unlawful flight to avoid prosecution and interstate theft of a vehicle.
“Having accepted the delegation of apprehension responsibility for the fugitive, the U.S. Marshals Service for the District of Connecticut would like to commend the professionalism of the New Haven Police Department and its diligent investigation leading to felony murder charges,” U.S. Marshal Lawrence J. Bobnick of the District of Connecticut said in a statement Monday announcing the nationwide search effort. “We are committed to working tirelessly, leveraging our nationwide resources and global reach to bring this individual to justice.”
Court documents previously obtained by Fox News revealed that a Mansfield, Mass., police report alleges Pan had stolen a vehicle from a Massachusetts car dealership on the day of Jiang’s murder, taking it for a test drive and never returning.
Malden, Mass., police questioned relatives at his residence who reported that Pan changed his cellphone number and wouldn’t say where he was going. North Haven, Conn., police that evening had that same vehicle towed after Pan was driving in a scrap yard and managed to get stuck on railroad tracks. North Haven officers at the time were not aware of Pan’s connection to the homicide in nearby New Haven.
The U.S. Marshals are offering a reward of up to $10,000 for information leading to the direct location and arrest of Pan. Anyone with information about his whereabouts should contact the U.S. Marshals at 1-877-Wanted-2 (1-877-926-8332). Any information shared will be considered confidential.
Pan should be considered armed and dangerous, and individuals should not attempt to apprehend him themselves, authorities said.
Jiang, who would have turned 27 on Valentine’s Day, was laid to rest at State Veterans Cemetery in Middletown, Conn., last month. At the time of his death, he was a second lieutenant on full-time National Guard duty providing operational support for COVID-19 response.
Jiang proposed to his girlfriend and fellow Yale graduate student, Zion Perry, a week before his fatal shooting. The pair met at a church retreat in Connecticut a year earlier, when Perry was still an undergraduate student at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).
MIT officials confirmed to Fox News that Pan and Perry attended the university during the same time frame. But authorities have said little publicly whether any connection between them could have motivated Jiang’s murder. Resurfaced photos showed Pan and Perry talking while at an MIT swing dance in March 2020, but any further connection between the two is unknown.
The Connecticut National Guard last month presented Perry, and Jiang’s mother and father, each with burial flags honoring Jiang’s military service. Jiang, who grew up in Chicago and completed his undergraduate education at the University of Washington in Seattle, also regularly volunteered at Trinity Baptist Church in New Haven with his mother and was known to be a devout Christian. He was pursuing a graduate degree at the Yale School of the Environment.