A Brazilian woman who helped identify escaped murderer Phillip John Smith will visit New Zealand after a local man offered to pay for her holiday.
Nelson lawyer John Fitchett said he wanted to show his gratitude to the woman who helped catch the fugitive when Smith was in a Rio de Janeiro backpackers hostel in November.
The woman wished to remain anonymous and would visit for a fortnight in March.
Mr Fitchett confirmed the woman's mother would join her on the trip, during which time she'd visit various scenic locations and different cities around New Zealand.
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Smith, a convicted child molester and murderer, absconded when on temporary release from Spring Hill prison, then fled to Chile before landing in Rio de Janeiro.
He checked into the Cidade Maravilhosa hostel but a woman there recognised him in a news report about his escape. When Smith left to buy food, the woman decided to call police.
Mr Fitchett told NZME. News Service why he was moved to contact the eagle-eyed woman and invite her to New Zealand.
"It was really just such a surprise when I heard Phillip Smith had left Chile for Brazil. I said to myself, and I'm sure most New Zealanders said: There's not one chance in a thousand that they'll ever find him," he said.
"And then I get in at 7 o'clock one morning and somebody's found him. I said to myself: Well, somebody's got to say thank you. New Zealand should be very grateful."