The man who murdered midwife Samantha Eastwood went to his parents’ house for dinner with her dead body in his van, a sentencing hearing was told.
Michael Stirling, 32, admitted killing Ms Eastwood, from Stoke-on-Trent, after a “long-standing” affair.
He buried the 28-year-old in a shallow grave with tape around her head at Caverswall, Staffordshire, in August, eight days after she went missing.
Stirling was sentenced to a minimum of 17 years in jail for her murder.
Ms Eastwood was last seen leaving her work at Royal Stoke University Hospital on the morning of 27 July.
She was “smothered and strangled to death” by Stirling at her home hours later.
Her body was discovered at a disused quarry on 5 August wrapped in a duvet with tape covering her eyes and mouth.
After burying her body, married landscape gardener Stirling, who is the brother-in-law of Ms Eastwood’s ex-fiancé John Peake, joined in the searches to find her.
He comforted her family and sent messages from her phone so people would think she was still alive.
In sentencing, Judge Mrs Justice Sue Carr said Stirling had “lied over and over again”.
In a victim impact statement read to the court, Ms Eastwood’s sister, Gemma, said Stirling gave her a hug the day after her sister went missing.
She said that moment would “forever haunt her” and her sibling was treated like “a piece of meat” by the killer.
Stirling’s lawyer Charles Miskin QC said his client and Ms Eastwood had been in the bedroom when he pushed her and she knocked her head on a bedroom table.
“He got down on one knee, she wasn’t scared of him, she was laughing at him. He then “lost all his self-control,” Mr Miskin added.
Prosecutor Jonas Hankin QC told of how Mr Peake went to Ms Eastwood’s home later on 27 July to find the house empty.
He discovered her engagement ring, some birthday cards he had sent her and her wedding dress laid out on her bed, which were put there by Stirling as a red herring, Mr Haskin said.
The pathologist said: “If the tapings over [Ms Eastwood’s] face were applied in life they could have caused death”.