Suspect to be charged with murder of missing British backpacker Grace Millane

Sunday, 09 Dec, 2018

New Zealand police said Saturday that they believe a 22-year-old British tourist who has been missing for a week was murdered, and they will lay charges against a man they detained earlier in the day for questioning.

Police are still looking for the body of the 22-year-old Briton who was last seen in the city on 1 December, although evidence suggested she had been killed.

New Zealand police confirmed they are now treating British backpacker Grace Millane's (pictured) disappearance as a homicide.

DI Beard said on Saturday: "Sadly the evidence we have gathered at this point of the inquiry has established that this is a homicide".

Beard broke the news of Millane's death to family yesterday and said they were devastated.

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

Searches have also been carried out at the backpackers' accommodation where she was staying.

Her brother, Michael Millane, said the family began getting anxious on Monday when she did not reply to messages.

Police say Millane was last spotted entering CityLife hotel in Auckland's CBD with a man on Saturday, December 1.

Police also seized a auto yesterday and it was likely used to transport Millane's body, which was still missing, retired Bay of Plenty District crime manager and Detective Inspector Graham Bell said. "Her clothing's going to be somewhere, we haven't found it, and somebody may find it".

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Miss Millane, who graduated from the University of Lincoln in September, had been travelling alone in New Zealand for two weeks, following a six-week group trip through South America.

Her father, David Millane, has travelled to New Zealand and held an emotional press conference yesterday.

After visiting Peru, she arrived in New Zealand on November 20 and had been in near-daily contact with her family until 1 December. I'm not going to speculate on how they met.

"Thank you to all who helped try and find Grace".

Mr Beard said Ms Millane's passport, necklace and watch were still missing and police wanted anyone with information on these or anything else to get in touch on 0800 676 255.

Auckland City Police said it received a missing person's report on Wednesday.

"Grace is a lovely, outgoing, fun-loving, family-orientated daughter".

Despite a major police search and public campaign for information, no further sightings of the backpacker have been confirmed.

Millane was last seen at a hotel with a man, who has not been named.