Grace Millane: Disappearance of British backpacker being investigated as murder

A man will be charged with the murder of British backpacker Grace Millane

Late this afternoon police announced they were questioning a man about the murder of Grace Millane, 22, who was last seen in Auckland's CBD a week ago.

Det Insp Scott Beard said evidence they had located so far told them Grace was "no longer alive".

"Sadly the evidence we have gathered to this point in the inquiry has established that this is a homicide", he told a press conference.

The Essex woman had embarked on a year-long worldwide trip following her university graduation.

Her father, David Millane, said they last had contact on the day she vanished.

David Millane, father of missing British tourist Grace Millane, speaks to the media as police give updates on the investigation.

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

"Grace's family have been advised of this development and they are devastated".

Ms Millane was last seen at CityLife Hotel in Auckland at 9:41pm on December 1, accompanied by the 26-year-old man. He wouldn't give a description of the vehicle or say where it was found.

Several of her belongings, including her passport, are missing and police believe it is likely Grace had these items with her, Auckland Police Detective Inspector Scott Beard said today.

It has now been six days since Grace was last seen.

She had booked to stay at the Base Backpackers hostel in central Auckland until 8 December.

The revelation follows a forensic examination of a hotel where she was last seen on Saturday 1 December with a "male companion".

Georgina Littlejohn     2 hours Saturday December 8th 2018   
 


	
		
						Historic Radio Times listings now online through BBC Genome Project	
	
		Culture
Georgina Littlejohn 2 hours Saturday December 8th 2018 Historic Radio Times listings now online through BBC Genome Project Culture

'He was brought back to the Auckland Central Police Station and is now speaking to us in relation to the murder of Grace Millane.

"We have no understanding of what the motive was".

Millane and the man being interviewed by police were together on Saturday evening and went to a number of places before going into CityLife Hotel.

Beard said "that property is going to be somewhere, the clothing is going to be somewhere, we haven't found it".

In a statement released on Saturday morning (New Zealand time), they said it had been "an extremely hard and emotional time for us all".

"Grace is still missing and we want to find her", he added.

He said police were working on reviewing hours of surveillance camera footage from around the city, which has proved crucial in tracking Millane's movements.

Police later said they had spoken to the man and that he was a "person of interest", although he was not held in custody.

The Lucie Blackman Trust, which has been supporting Millane's family, posted on its Facebook page that they were "incredibly saddened" by the police announcement. "Our thoughts are with her family at this bad time".

An emotional Beard said it had been a tough time for all involved in the investigation.

After visiting Peru she arrived in New Zealand on November 20 and had been "bombarding" her family with photos as she kept in near-daily contact with her parents and brothers via social media.

He added: "Today were have identified and secured a vehicle of interest, and we are now making enquiries to find out exactly where that vehicle has been".

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