Police Find Murdered Manchester Lecturer's Missing Car

12 May 2011, 14:48 | Updated: 30 March 2016, 13:50

Police hunting a Chinese businessman wanted for killing a Manchester Met university lecturer, his wife and their two daughters today said they had found the killer's getaway car.

Anxiang Du, 52,  is believed to have stabbed to death Manchester Met lecturer Jifing Ding, 46,  his wife Helen, 47,  daughters Nancy, 18, and Alice, 12 -  the day after he lost tens of thousands of pounds in a court ruling.

He escaped from the scene in a Corsa car that had been hired by Nancy. It was discovered by a member of the public in a mixed residential and commercial area in North West London at half past one on Wednesday afternoon.

 At a press conference Detective Superintendent Glyn Timmins said the car. He said: "It had been locked could have been there for some days. It was not concealed.

"The car has been brought back to Northamptonshire Police Headquarters to be forensically examined. "

Mr Timmins said an ANPR vehicle check had also revealed that Du was in the Corsa car in Northampton late on the night of Friday 29 - at around 10.15.

He appealed for anyone who had seen the car between 4pm and 10.15 in Northampton to call the police and for people who had seen the car since to contact them.

Leaflets appealing for help in tracing Du have been printed in Mandarin and are being distributed amongst the Chinese community in London.

 The family were killed at their detached home in Pioneer Close, Northampton at lunchtime on Royal Wedding Day between 3 and 4pm.

But the murders were not uncovered until Sunday May 1 when concerned neighbours called the police. It gave the killer a 48 hour start on detectives.

The motive for the slaughter is a dispute between Mr Du, from Coventry, and Helen over a Chinese Herbal Remedy business.

The Ding family were highly regarded by people who knew them. Scores of flowers were left outside their home.

Mr Ding taught at Manchester Met University, Mrs Ding worked part-time as a Mandarin teacher at Caroline Chisholm School in Northampton, where Alice was a Year Seven student. Xing was a sixth form student and deputy head girl at the private Northampton High School. Both girls were talented musicians.

Despite a search of the area, including drains, the murder weapon has not been found.

Over 200 witnesses have come forward with possible sightings since the media appeal after Du's journey from Coventry and Birmingham to Northampton was retraced by officers.

 Du, who lived in Coventry, ran a business in the Pavilion shopping centre in Birmingham and was seen on CCTV on the day of the killings at Birmingham New Street railway station, then at Northampton railway station.

The next CCTV image shows him catching a bus from Northampton town centre to Wootton. Another shows him on the journey asking the bus driver if he has reached his destination.

He is described as 5ft 9ins tall and of slim build. He was last seen wearing a white baseball cap, brown waist length coat, grey trousers, a blue woollen top, black leather shoes.

His family reported him missing on Friday 29 April. He left them a "goodbye note."