Warning: Graphic content
Smeared and spattered blood was discovered in the apartment of the man accused of murdering British backpacker Grace Millane.
It was found on and under the carpet and in small drops on a small white fridge.
Sensitive luminol tests also revealed what appeared to be bloody footprints near the bed.
The blood, Crown experts told the High Court at Auckland yesterday, was hundreds of millions of times more likely to have come from Millane than anyone else.
A 27-year-old man, who has interim name suppression, is charged with murdering Millane during the weekend of her 22nd birthday last December.
The first week of his trial concluded yesterday.
Crown prosecutors allege that on the night of December 1 he strangled the young British woman to death in his CityLife hotel apartment after the pair had spent the night drinking.
Millane, a recent university graduate who was travelling the world, met her accused killer on the dating app Tinder shortly after arriving in Auckland.
A week after the fatal date, however, her body was found crammed into a suitcase and dumped in a shallow grave in Auckland’s Waitakere Ranges.
Yesterday morning Dianne Crenfeldt, an expert forensic scientist from the Institute of Environmental Science and Research (ESR), told the court about her analysis of the “probable blood staining” in the apartment.
One area was 70cm in diameter and also had some “circular smearing within it”, Crenfeldt said.
A smaller area of possible blood staining was found near the wardrobe and was 30cm in diameter.
This smaller circle, Credfeldt said, could have come from the base of a circular object such as a bucket.
No buckets, however, were found in the apartment during the police search.
The underside of the carpet and the concrete floor also showed “probable blood staining”.
Crenfeldt told the jury there was “strong support” for the proposition that a clean-up of blood had occurred in the apartment.
Evidence of a possible clean-up, she said, included circular marks, small drips of blood, footprints and smears.
However, she was unable to say when such a clean-up may have occurred or how much blood there originally was.
What Crenfeldt did say was it appeared “somebody with blood on their feet moved around the room.”
Crenfeldt said her investigation also found what she described as four visible blood spots on the fridge.
While she couldn’t date the spots, Crenfeldt said they looked to have been deposited during the same event.
She told the court it was likely caused by a “cast-off event”.
“Some object with blood on it moving through the air and leaving this line of small blood spots,” she explained.
Crenfeldt speculated that this could have been a person’s “hand moving through the air and blood flying off it”.
During cross-examination, the accused’s lawyer Ian Brookie said his client has told police he “encountered a small amount of blood on the floor and with the use of various cleaning products he went about trying to clean it up”.
On December 8 last year, Millane’s alleged killer gave a police interview in which he said the tourist was bleeding, the court has heard.
The accused said he had rough sex with Millane before he passed out in the shower.
“I crawled back into bed … I thought Grace had left,” the accused claimed.
When he woke, however, the accused said Millane was “lying on the floor, I saw she had blood coming from her nose”.
Turlough Thomas-Stone, an ESR forensic scientist, appeared to confirm the presence of Millane’s blood in the apartment.
He told the court DNA tests were conducted on probable blood stains found on the carpet, fridge and lining of a suitcase.
He said the blood spots on the fridge were “500,000 million times more likely to have originated from Miss Millane than another woman” with the same DNA profile.
This, he said, was “extremely strong scientific support” that the DNA belonged to Millane.
A mixed DNA profile was also obtained from the carpet underlay. It showed two people – a male and female.
Thomas-Stone said the major profile component of the DNA found corresponded with that of Millane, and was 300,000 million times more likely to her DNA and an unknown person than two random people in the general New Zealand population.
DNA found on the bag was 200,000 million times more likely to have come from Millane, he told the court.
The evidence of another ESR forensic scientist, Timothy Power, was undisputed and read by Crown prosecutor Robin McCoubrey.
Power said a sample taken from a spot of blood on a bottle found in the apartment was comparable to Millane’s DNA profile.
Statistically, he said, the likelihood it was Millane’s was 600,000 million times greater than other people in the general population.
The trial will resume on Monday morning with more Crown evidence.