A MAN has pleaded guilty to the murder of Tracey Wylde in 1997.

Zhi Min Chen admitting strangling the 21-year-old, who was found dead in her Barmulloch flat in November 1997, at the High Court in Glasgow today.

The 44-year-old was arrested in Glasgow in July 2018.

Detective Inspector Gordon MacKenzie of Police Scotland’s Major Investigation Team said: “Today marks the end of a 21 year wait for the family of Tracey Wylde, to see the man responsible for her brutal murder finally brought to justice.

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“They never lost faith that this day would come and I would like to take this opportunity to thank them for the support they have given the inquiry team over the years.

"It is a real shame that Tracey’s mother Fay, who died a couple of years ago, is not here to see her daughter’s killer held accountable.

“This investigation involved a wide range of officers and detectives due to its scale and longevity and I speak for them all in welcoming today’s result, which will hopefully provide a sense of closure to Tracey’s family.

“The conclusion of this case also sends an important message regarding Police Scotland’s commitment to unresolved murders.

"These cases will always be a key priority and our specialist detectives will continue to use the latest advances in technology and any new information which comes to light to provide answers for the families of victims and bring their killers to justice.”

A large-scale manhunt to catch the killer - initially lasting two and a half years - proved fruitless.

Chinese-born Chen meantime continued to live in Glasgow, getting married and also setting up a takeaway restaurant in Anniesland.

But, police struck lucky last summer after Chen was held for an alleged assault in Glasgow's Cowcaddens.

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His DNA matched samples found at the scene at time.

It led to the dad-of-two being charged with her death.

Chen had been due to stand trial at the High Court in Glasgow.

Members of Tracey's traumatised family were in court to hear the grim details of her death.

She was described as having a "turbulent background" and had been a sex worker at the time.

Tracey went on to move into her flat in Torryburn Road before giving birth to her daughter in August 1994.

On November 23, 1997, Tracey had gone into Glasgow city centre.

She was last spotted on CCTV around 3.20am the next morning in the city's red-light area.

Prosecutor Steven Borthwick said it was about 4.40am when a neighbour heard arguing in Tracy's flat as the victim cried out for the neighbour’s mother.

Mr Borthwick said: "The argument culminated in Tracey shouting: 'Sadie, Sadie'.

"Mary went to investigate...but she could not see into Tracey's flat.

"She continued to listen, but could not hear anything further."

The last thing Mary heard was Tracey's door being slammed shut and keys being rattled.

Friends of Tracey visited that day, but got no reply.

The alarm was raised when the mum then failed to show for an appointment at a support group.

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A worker from there turned up at Tracey's flat and noticed a balcony door was mysteriously open.

The woman then spoke to the neighbour, who managed to get into Tracey's home.

It was then they made the grim find of her body.

Mr Borthwick said: "She was lying on her back with a dressing gown over her body.

"She was observed to be fully dressed...there were marks and bruising around Tracey's neck."

The cause of death was found to be "manual strangulation".

He will return to be sentenced next month.