16 Oct 2008

Body thought to be Korean backpacker found

5:08 pm on 16 October 2008

Police have found the body they believe to be that of missing Korean backpacker Jae Hyeon Kim on the South Island's West Coast.

The remains were found covered by soil in a makeshift grave in dense bush off State Highway 6, south of Charleston.

Police say Mr Kim was murdered and buried in scrub near the highway after being picked up as he was thumbing a ride in 2003.

Detective Inspector John Winter says the body will be taken to Christchurch for a post-mortem.

Mr Kim's parents have been advised via the Korean consulate.

Murder accused to stand trial

A former Nelson fisherman is to stand trial for the murder of Mr Kim.

Shannon Brent Flewellen, 29, was committed to the Christchurch High Court by Justices of the Peace on Wednesday after a three-day depositions hearing in Greymouth.

He entered a plea of not guilty.

On Tuesday, a man, 31, whose name is suppressed, pleaded guilty to murdering Mr Kim at Charleston, near Westport, in September or October 2003.

He was committed for sentence at the High Court in Wellington in December.

On Monday, another man admitted there is a prima facie case against him, but the charge and other details against him have been suppressed.