• Kyodo

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Fukuoka police have obtained an arrest warrant for a Chinese man who returned to China shortly after a family of four were killed here in June, police sources said Friday.

Police investigators believe the 23-year-old Chinese, who lived in the same apartment building as a 21-year-old Chinese man who is also wanted by Fukuoka police, may have information about the killings. Neither of the men were identified.

As in the case of the 21-year-old Chinese, the police obtained the arrest warrant against the 23-year-old on suspicion of providing false identification when buying mobile phones in late May.

A third Chinese man, also aged 23, has been arrested on suspicion of conspiring with the 23-year-old Chinese man in the fraudulent purchase of cell phones.

According to police, the three Chinese — all former students in the Kyushu area — contacted each other by mobile phone around the time the bodies of the Fukuoka family were found in Hakata Bay on June 20.

Fukuoka clothes merchant Shinjiro Matsumoto, 41, his wife Chika, 40, their 11-year-old son Kai and 8-year-old daughter Hina were killed and their bodies dumped in the bay, handcuffed and weighed down by dumbbells.

Police sources said Fukuoka police plan to apply for an arrest warrant for the 21-year-old Chinese man on suspicion of abandoning bodies.

The 21-year-old Chinese and the 23-year-old Chinese who shared the same apartment returned to China on June 24. They come from the same town in China.