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Okanagan man sentenced to life in prison for murdering tourist

A British Columbia man who murdered a Belgian tourist has been sentenced to life in prison with no chance of parole for at least 23 years.

Sean McKenzie, who is 27, pleaded guilty to second-degree murder in the death of Amelie Sakkalis in September.

Sakkalis’ body was found near Highway 1, north of Boston Bar, in August 2018.

<who> Photo credit: IHIT

Police said last year they believe Sakkalis was hitchhiking from the Penticton area toward Vancouver on the day she was killed.

Police arrested McKenzie, a resident of Oliver, B.C., at the scene of the crime.

He was initially charged with first-degree murder but pleaded guilty to the lesser charge.

<who> Photo credit: IHIT

Police said McKenzie had no criminal record, and was known to travel extensively through B.C. for work.

As a part of his sentencing on Tuesday, a judge also ordered McKenzie to provide a DNA sample, and handed him a lifetime firearms prohibition.

He will be included on the federal sex offender registry.

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