Man pleads guilty to killing Kiwi mother nine years after disappearance

A man in Australia has pleaded guilty to killing his New Zealand mother, nine years after she first disappeared.

Linda Sidon went missing in 2009, and police thought she had committed suicide - but now her son has confessed to manslaughter and interfering with her corpse.

Ms Sidon lived a quiet life in a small Gold Coast unit with her adult son - a life that vanished without a trace.

She had a history of anxiety and depression, and at first, police thought she'd taken her own life.

But her final days showed no suicidal signs; she was last seen on a trip to the doctor, and had only just joined a gym.

It would take six years to discover the truth.

"As a consequence of our investigations we are satisfied she did not commit suicide," said Detective Superintendent Dave Hutchinson from Queensland Police.

And it would take nine years for her son Daniel Heazlewood to finally confess to killing his mother.

Heazlewood was arrested for murder three years ago in 2015. His lawyer, Chris Rosser, vowed to fight the charges.

"It doesn't appear to be a strong case. It's a very circumstantial case and it appears to be a bit dubious," he said at the time.

But the case was built on extensive evidence; a wiretap in Heazlewood's car and home, an exhaustive search of Sidon's unit, and the dense bush where it's believed she was buried.

It was Heazlewood himself who led them there. Ms Sidon's body was never found, but on Wednesday he pleaded guilty to manslaughter and interfering with a corpse.

For 18 months, Linda Sidon's disappearance went completely unnoticed on the Gold Coast - it was only when her father called Dunedin Police that anyone knew she was missing at all.

Her father never lived to see Ms Sidon get justice, and never learned the awful truth.

That the child whose life she brought into the world became the man who took hers away.