The officer in charge of the Grace Millane investigation says her mother hasn't had time to grieve after the loss of her daughter, her husband and dealing with a new lockdown in the UK.
The British backpacker was murdered in December 2018. Her father died of cancer this year and her mother has battled breast cancer.
And Christmas has been cancelled for a third of the UK population after a new strain of Covid-19 emerged.
Detective Inspector Scott Beard told Newstalk ZB this morning he had been speaking with Gillian Millane today and felt for how much she and the rest of the family have had to deal with.
"For three years now she's basically been numb. She's had her own health scares, she's had Grace's situation and of course last year [husband] David was sick and recently died and so she's been dealing with the funeral arrangements and they've had Covid over in the UK and so it's been really tough for her.
"She hasn't really had time to grieve or move on and Christmas is coming and they're in lockdown.
"I'm sure the public of New Zealand and in the United Kingdom can't help but feel for the Millane family."
Millane's killer Jesse Kempson could finally be named yesterday as well as his sexual offending against two other women, the trials of which had remained in a shroud of secrecy.
Beard also told Newstalk ZB Kempson seemed "relatively plausible" when police initially met him, but it didn't take long before they started uncovering his lies.
Beard also said said that no matter the reasons for his offending against women and the murder of Millane, Kempson was responsible for his own actions.
Beard said that it wasn't until they managed to get CCTV footage that they realised Kempson was lying to them.
"Initially he was quite plausible and it wasn't until through that first interview and some of the investigation team managed to get through some of that CCTV that we realised that he told us a lie.
"From that moment we started thinking 'right, we're on the right track here, we've now got to find Grace and prove that he was the last one that was with her'."
Uncovering one lie, the investigation team had the obvious realisation that there were likely more to uncover.
"Absolutely, of course, and in the second interview, a couple of days later, it was a completely different story."
Asked for his opinion about Kempson keeping his name secret for so long, Beard said police had no problem with it as he had a right to a fair trial but he could understand some of the frustration by the public.
"We had no issue from the police perspective on the name suppression, it was proper, it was right.
"I understand the frustration from members of the public out there but we had two other victims out there, we had their trials, he had a right to a fair trial but they also had a right to have their say in court."
As for the victims of his earlier offending, who came forward after noticing his image being circulated by overseas media, Beard said it had been hard to learn it was the same man who killed Millane.
"The two victims who gave evidence in court, the two trials, just their evidence alone you could tell how devastated they were with the realisation of who he was."
As for Kempson himself, Beard said his upbringing was mentioned in court but "at end of the day, he's accountable for his actions and we had three victims here and for the Millane family they will never have Grace back".