Tinder date accused of murdering British backpacker thoroughly cleaned up blood spattered on the floor, say cops
Grace Millane, 22, who was on a round-the-world trip, disappeared on December 2.
Forensic experts gave evidence in Auckland's high court during the murder trial of Grace Millane, saying the blood found in her alleged killer's hotel room was most likely that of the British backpacker.
Millane, 22, disappeared on December 2 following a date in New Zealand's largest city. She was on a round-the-world trip at the time, The Guardian reports.
A week later, authorities found her body inside a suitcase buried in the dense bushland west of the city. Meanwhile, the 27-year-old accused, who cannot be named for legal reasons, has pleaded not guilty to the crime.
Chemical testing had been carried out on the accused's hotel room and evidence of blood was subsequently found on the foot of the bed, in footprints walking towards the bathroom, as well as in small splatters on the fridge, Dianne Crenfeldt, a forensic scientist for ESR New Zealand, told the court on Friday.
“The shape of the probable blood staining and the presence of blood on the floor provided strong support that clean up of blood had occurred in this area," she added.
According to her, the footprints clearly indicated someone had walked with blood on their left foot and then “transferred … blood around the room."
Furthermore, a statistical analysis of the blood samples confirmed they were from female DNA and there was “extremely strong scientific support” to show the blood was Millane's as the major profile component of the DNA matched hers, Turlough Thomas-Stone, a DNA specialist, told the court while giving evidence.
Also, neither the prosecution nor defense argues that Millane died in the hotel room on 1 or 2 December 2018.
The accused murdered Millane before trying to conceal his crime by burying her body, the Crown alleges. Meanwhile, the defense has argued the victim died while engaging in a consensual sex act and that following her death, the accused made a series of poor decisions owing to the stress of the event.
It was found that Millane lost her life from fatal pressure to her throat before she was transported in a suitcase to a shallow grave near the Waitakere ranges.
Millane's blood-alcohol level at the time of her death is still unclear, according to ESR forensic toxicologist Diana Kappatos.
When the autopsy was performed, the 22-year-old had been dead for over a week. However, Kappatos conclusively stated no drugs were found in Millane's system. The trial continues.