A man has been found guilty of the murder of British backpacker Grace Millane, who disappeared a year ago in Auckland.
A 27-year-old man, who cannot be named for legal reasons, was found guilty of strangling Grace to death in a hotel room on 1 December last year, 9News reports.
Grace had matched with the accused on a dating app and had agreed to meet him on the night before her 22nd birthday.
Her body was later found stuffed in a suitcase in bushland on the outskirts of Auckland.
The accused will be sentenced on 21 February next year.
“The verdict of murder today will be welcomed by every member of the Millane family and friends of Grace,” her father David Millane told reporters outside Auckland’s high court.
“It will not reduce the pain and suffering we have had to endure over the past year.
“Grace was taken in the most brutal fashion a year ago and our lives have been ripped apart.
“Grace was our sunshine and she will be missed forever. She did not deserve to be murdered in such a barbaric way in her OE [gap] year.”
He also thanked the NZ police, Detective Inspector Scott Beard, the Crown prosecution team, and the media.
“Finally we want to thank the people of New Zealand. I can’t thank you enough for your kindness and for opening your hearts to us.”