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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Father of Abandoned Toddler Sought After Fleeing Australia

MELBOURNE, Australia -- Authorities said Tuesday that they feared for the mother of a 3-year-old girl whose father allegedly abandoned her at an Australian train station.

Australian police said they believed Xue Naiyin, the publisher of a Chinese-language magazine in New Zealand, went to the United States after leaving his daughter in the southern Australian city of Melbourne on Saturday.

Qian Xun Xue was found standing alone at the Southern Cross train station. Officials nicknamed her "pumpkin" after the brand of children's clothing she was wearing, until she was identified Monday.

Police say Qian and her father left the northern New Zealand city of Auckland -- where the family had lived since 2002 and where Xue, 54, is the director of the Chinese Times One Group -- on Thursday and flew to Melbourne.

On Saturday, security camera footage showed a man, believed by police to be Xue, leading Qian by the hand through the train station, then leaving her at the foot of an escalator as he ascended, wheeling a suitcase.

Airline records show Xue boarded a flight to Los Angeles about two hours later, police said.

New Zealand police have been unable to find the girl's mother, Anni Liu, 27. They fear she may have been harmed because she has not contacted them about her daughter.