Police recapture prison escapee after massive manhunt

January 13, 2012

HIROSHIMA--Police on Jan. 13 detained and arrested a convict who escaped from a prison in Hiroshima two days earlier that triggered a massive manhunt and intense media coverage, and put the city of Hiroshima on alert.

Li Guolin, 40, a Chinese national, was serving a 23-year prison sentence when he climbed over the prison walls to escape in broad daylight. He was arrested in Hiroshima on suspicion of fleeing prison.

Hiroshima prefectural police announced earlier on Jan. 13 that they had determined that saliva found on an empty beer can left behind in an apartment in Hiroshima's Nishi Ward matched Li's DNA.

Police determined that Li was likely hiding in the vicinity and dispatched about 500 police officers to the area around the apartment to begin an intensive search for Li. He was detained in the Tenmacho area of Nishi Ward.

Li was found guilty of attempted murder of a police officer after he fired a gun at the individual in May 2005 at a parking lot in Okayama. A police officer was questioning the driver of the vehicle Li was in about his involvement in a robbery when Li hit the officer with a bar from the passenger seat. Li also fired a shot at another police officer in the area.

He had been incarcerated at the Hiroshima prison since June 2008.

In June 2005, prior to the finalization of his sentence, he seized a police vehicle taking him to hospital to treat a foot injury and fled. He was arrested 30 minutes later.

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