A Coquitlam man will likely spend a number of years behind bars after pleading guilty to murdering his wife back in 2011.
Zhongming (James) Mou, 36, pleaded guilty to second-degree murder of Yating (Lancy) Hu in a New Westminster courtroom Tuesday.
Hu's body was recovered on Aug. 27, 2011 from the Fraser River in Richmond. She had been missing since mid-July of that year.
She had been living in Burnaby at the time of her murder.
According to media reports from the courtroom, Mou killed Hu in their Coquitlam home, leaving her body in an SUV - at one point while he drove their two kids to church.
Hu's estranged husband originally told police he had dropped her off at her Burnaby apartment on July 15 at about 8 p.m.
Later, Mou changed his story and told investigators that 27-year-old Hu had stayed at the family's Coquitlam home on Nash Drive that night. He said they left the next morning at 5:30 a.m.
Hu's parents travelled from China and spoke at a press conference just a couple of days before her body was found. They said the couple had married in 2003 but that Hu was seeking a divorce.
RCMP Sgt. Jennifer Pound said the guilty plea is a successful end to the sad case, which involved an intense investigation by police.
"It's been extremely hard on her [Hu's] family," she said.
Pound said Hu's family was aware of the guilty plea, but police hadn't spoken directly with the family to get their reaction.
She also suggested the guilty plea speaks to the length investigators went to retrieve evidence to get the plea.
At the time of the charges, the couple's two young children were in the care of Mou's parents.
Mou's sentencing hearing continued Tuesday past The NOW's press deadline. If it failed to finish by the end of the day, it was set to resume on Friday.