WARNING: This story contains details that may be disturbing to some readers.
The B.C. man who murdered a Belgian traveller in the Fraser Canyon in 2018 has been sentenced to life in prison with no chance of parole for 23 years.
Sean McKenzie, 27, pleaded guilty to second-degree murder in the case in September.
Amelie Sakkalis’ body was found on Aug. 22, 2018 along Highway 1 near Boston Bar.
Investigators believe she was hitchhiking between Penticton and Vancouver when she was killed, and that she had only recently met McKenzie.
On Tuesday, court heard for the first time that she was stabbed 42 times. The court also heard she was sexually assaulted in a predatory attack that lasted more than two hours, and was found naked and bound.
The court also heard victim impact statements from Sakkalis’ family, six of whom travelled from Belgium to Canada for the sentencing.
“She had a special dream to go to Canada, your beautiful country,” Sakkalis’ mother told the court in tears.
“My entire life is in shambles,” added her sister.
Police arrested a McKenzie, an Oliver, B.C. resident, at the scene of the crime and subsequently released him. Investigators also seized a white Chevy Astro Van at the scene.
McKenzie had initially been charged with first-degree murder, but pleaded guilty to the lesser charge.
Police said McKenzie had no criminal record, and was known to travel extensively through B.C. for work.
More to come…
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