Teresa Cormack's killer dies in prison

Jules Mikus has reportedly died in prison. Photo: NZ Herald
Jules Mikus has reportedly died in prison. Photo: NZ Herald
The man who murdered Napier schoolgirl Teresa Cormack has died in prison.

Jules Mikus reportedly died at the weekend. He had abducted, raped and murdered Teresa in 1987. He was finally arrested in 2002 using DNA evidence.

He was battling a brain tumour in Rimutaka Prison near Wellington and was being housed in a medical unit.

Teresa Cormack disappeared on June 19, 1987.
Teresa Cormack disappeared on June 19, 1987.
The New Zealand Herald revealed in September that Mikus was gravely ill.

Six-year-old Teresa's body was found face down in a shallow grave at Whirinaki Beach near Napier eight days after she disappeared on June 19, 1987.

Mikus got away with her murder for 15 years - but when advances in DNA enabled police to match him to samples taken at the time of Teresa's brutal killing, he was finally captured.

He had been a suspect early in the investigation but had an alibi that was not challenged.

Mikus has been denied parole several times - most recently in April 2016.

At that hearing the Parole Board made a postponement order for five years, meaning they would not see Mikus again until December 2020.

At the time board panel convenor Justice Marion Frater said Mikus had consistently failed to engage with the parole process "from the beginning".

"Nor has he taken any steps to address his very serious sexual and violent offending. He has declined to participate in assessments for the Parole Board and declined to participate in any interventions with a departmental psychologist," she said.

"Given his assessed very high risk of sexual reoffending we are satisfied that even if Mr Mikus changes his mind and engages now, it will take at least five years before there is any prospect that he could safely be released.

"Accordingly, we make a postponement order of the maximum duration."

A spokesman for the Parole Board said his postponement order had not changed and no application had been made for an earlier hearing date or compassionate release.

After he was sentenced the Herald revealed Mikus had a raft of offences to his name, starting in his teens.

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