Grace Millane: New Zealand police to charge man with murder of backpacker

Aaron Brown
December 9, 2018

New Zealand police confirmed on Saturday that the search for missing British backpacker Grace Millane is now a homicide investigation.

The 26-year-old is the same man who was questioned previously by police and was with Ms Millane at several places, including Sky City, before going to CityLife Hotel with her.

New Zealand police said Grace Millane was murdered by a man will be charged with murder.

There was no evidence they knew each other before Millane disappeared but Detective Inspector Scott Beard wouldn't comment on speculation they may have met on Tinder.

"Sadly the evidence we have gathered to this point of the inquiry has established that this is a homicide".

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

"Grace is no longer alive; this is now a murder investigation", Beard said.

Inspector Beard said that, along with information provided by the 26-year-old, CCTV footage and a "scene examination" indicated Ms Millane was dead.

Millane had been staying at a backpacker hostel in Auckland and left some of her belongings there.

Her birthday was on Sunday, but she didn't contact her family.

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A number of Miss Millane's belongings - including her passport, a silver necklace and pink watch - are missing, and police say they hope their discovery could help them locate her body.

The British backpacker, who graduated from the University of Lincoln in September, had been travelling alone in New Zealand for two weeks.

Her father David Millane fronted a press conference at Auckland Central Police Station on Friday after flying to New Zealand from Essex.

Police released images of Ms Millane's watch and necklace earlier on Saturday.

The man was found at a central Auckland address by police about 3:00pm local time on Saturday.

"She arrived here on the 20th of November, and has been bombarding us with numerous photographs and messages of her adventures", Millane said.

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

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

The Lucie Blackman Trust, which has been supporting Millane's family, posted on its Facebook page they were "incredibly saddened" by the police announcement.

"I would like to take this opportunity to appeal to anybody who has seen, spoken to, come into contact with Grace over the last few days and come forward with any detail, no matter how small", he said.

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