The mother of An An Liu says she had a feeling something was wrong when the man accused of her murder answered her daughter's cellphone.
Nai Yin Xue is on trial in the High Court at Auckland for the murder of his wife, An An Liu, on 11 September 2007. He later abandoned their daughter in Melbourne.
Xiaoping Liu is giving evidence via video link from her home town in China.
She says that, about the time of Ms Liu's death, she became worried after her daughter did not return emails or phone calls for a few days.
Finally, Mr Xue answered her phone and told her the two had patched up their differences and that Ms Liu was in Wellington with their child for a party.
That call was on 13 September, two days after police believe Ms Liu was killed.
Mrs Liu broke down in tears when the judge asked how the child, who now lives in China, was doing. He asked that her words not be translated for the jury.