One of four people charged in connection with the disappearance and death of a man whose body was found in a shallow grave covered in concrete near the Desert Rd has pleaded guilty to being accessory after the fact of murder.
The remains of Bao Chang Wang, also known as Ricky, were only discovered after a tip off in March, years after he was last seen alive.
His body had been buried on the side of Rangipo Intake Rd, off the Desert Rd near Tongariro.
The remains, which police say "had been in place for a period of time", were exhumed and an autopsy confirmed the case was officially a homicide inquiry, code-named Operation Quattro.
Wang had been missing since 2017.
Yuzhen Zhang, 29, appeared in the High Court at Auckland today accused of being an accessory after the fact to Wang's murder. He pleaded guilty after a short hearing before Justice Christian Whata.
Zhang was remanded on bail for sentencing on December 16.
Wang's friend Yanlong Piao helped to dispose of his body and keep the alleged murder a secret for years - telling the dead man's family he was overseas.
Piao was so consumed with guilt that he eventually went to the police and led them to the body. For years Wang was believed to have moved overseas and abandoned his family.
Piao was sentenced to 14 months in prison in July for being an accessory to murder after the fact.
Two other men remain before the courts charged with murdering Wang.
The pair, aged 28 and 33, have both pleaded not guilty and been granted interim
A trial date has been set for July 2021.