New Zealand police believe missing backpacker Grace Millane was murdered

09 December, 2018, 06:11 | Author: Roderick Gutierrez
  • Grace Millane

Police say Grace Millane was last spotted entering CityLife hotel in Auckland's CBD with a man on Saturday.

A man is to be charged with the murder of British backpacker Grace Millane, police said.

Detective Inspector Scott Beard said police had gathered evidence on Saturday that had "established this is a homicide".

But the detective added: "We still do not know where Grace is".

"The issue here is Grace is still missing and we want to find her. We are determined to find her and return her to her family", Mr Beard said.

Investigators had said yesterday that they held "grave fears" for Grace's safety.

"Grace is a lovely, outgoing, fun-loving, family-orientated daughter", Mr Millane said on Friday.

Ms Millane was last seen at CityLife Hotel in Auckland at 9:41pm on December 1, accompanied by the 26-year-old man.

"Many of our young people went to school with her".

Police have not uncovered any evidence the pair had met before.

The man Millane was seen with was taken into the central Auckland police station on Saturday afternoon for questioning. "Somebody may find it somewhere, we don't know what has happened to it", Beard said.

Police have located a "vehicle of interest" and are now investigating where it has travelled to.

On Saturday police released images of her necklace and watch and urged anyone who recognised the items to come forward.

A section of Scenic Drive, where she is believed to have been found, has been under police guard since this morning.

He told journalists his much-loved daughter arrived in New Zealand on November 20 as part of a year-long, worldwide overseas experience that began earlier this year in South America.

Beard said the search for Millane would continue.

He said the mood at the church was "rather sombre and sad", adding: "I didn't know her personally but numerous people here do". Grace has never been out of contact for this amount of time and is usually in daily contact with either her mother, myself or her two brothers.

Police have been conducting a scene examination at a unit in the hotel.

"Many of these calls have been from members of the public, offering accommodation and assistance to the Millane family".

Officers said they could not yet confirm if Millane's body had been found.



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