It's been a long torturous wait for justice but the family of Ashlee Edwards has been buoyed today by the admission of her former partner that he murdered her.
The body of the mother-of-two was found under a bridge in Whangarei in July 2012.
Former partner Jimmy Akuhata was arrested for her murder.
Ms Edwards had taken out a protection order against the father of her children in 2010.
In the days before she was killed she'd warned Whangarei police Akuhata had breached the order and threatened to kill, rape and cut her head off.
Police failed to investigate properly despite the fact there had already been eight recorded family violence incidents before then.
Police were severely criticised by the Independent Police Conduct Authority for the "poorly managed and grossly inadequate way" they'd handled her complaints.
The case also made headlines when, after Ms Edwards' death, Akuhata's whanau tried to take her body from a Kerikeri funeral parlour without her family's permission.
Akuhata was due to stand trial for her murder next month but will now be sentenced in May.
His trial had been delayed since 2013 because he received head injuries in prison and was declared unfit to plead to the charge or stand trial.
Ms Edwards' mother says she'll sit down tonight and tell her three and five-year-old grand-daughters that their father will be staying in prison for a long time because he killed their mother.
"I'll have to find the words," Karen Edwards said. "I have to tell them that Daddy's going to be in prison for a long time."
Next week Karen Edwards heads to Wellington as part of a group of women trying to get breaches of protection orders included in the three strikes legislation.
They'll be presenting their case to a select committee on Wednesday.
Akuhata's trial has been delayed since 2013 because he was received head injuries in prison and was declared unfit to plead to the charge or stand trial.