The Czech Republic has warned its people against hitch-hiking in New Zealand, however safe it may seem, after the murder of a Czech tourist.
Hynek Kmonicek, the Czech Republic's ambassador to Australia, New Zealand and the Pacific Islands, told the Herald he did not expect the death of Dagmar Pytlickova, 31, would affect the country's popularity among Czechs.
But he is sufficiently concerned to publicly warn them to avoid hitching a lift with a stranger.
"I am in contact with a lot of people, especially from the younger [Czech] community in New Zealand, and my advice is ... 'I understand that you try to save your money, but think twice before hitch-hiking'," Dr Kmonicek said.
"Simply it's not the safest mode of transport in any country."
Miss Pytlickova appeared to have been picked up by Waimate man Jason Frandi at the weekend. It is thought he then sexually assaulted her and cut her throat.
Frandi, who at the time was being sought by police over an alleged sex crime, was found dead near Miss Pytlickova's body in remote South Canterbury back-country with what police say was a self-inflicted wrist wound.
Her body was released to funeral directors acting on behalf of her distraught family yesterday.
Police are still trying to trace Miss Pytlickova's movements after she began hitch-hiking from Cromwell in Central Otago about 2pm on Saturday, with an intention to travel to the Timaru area.
Photos of the jacket and backpack worn by Miss Pytlickova were last night released by police seeking to confirm her final movements.
Detective Senior Sergeant Marion Neill said inquiries were focused on trying to establish her movements after she left Cromwell.
"On Saturday we believe that she left Cromwell around 2pm, and was intending to hitch-hike to the Timaru area.
"It's likely she was in the Omarama area by around 4pm, and in the Kurow area possibly by 4.45pm or 5pm. However, we still wish to keep this timespan as open as possible," Ms Neill said.
The deaths of Frandi and Miss Pytlickova will be considered by the coroner.