Published: Sat, December 08, 2018
People | By Leon Thompson

Missing British backpacker case is now a murder investigation in New Zealand

Missing British backpacker case is now a murder investigation in New Zealand

A 26-year-old man is to be charged with the murder of British backpacker Grace Millane in New Zealand.

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

The 22-year-old from Essex - described by her father as "lovely" and "family-orientated" - was last seen in New Zealand a week ago.

This afternoon police said they had assessed Millane's property left at the backpackers where she was staying - and found some items missing.

He also confirmed that the 26-year-old being questioned is the man who was identified as a person of interest on Friday.

"We now have a last known sighting of Grace at 9.41pm at the Citylife Hotel, on Saturday, December 1, with a male companion".

That was especially so for David Millane, as police had met the distraught father, but also for other family in the United Kingdom, including Millane's mother Gillian, unable to travel to New Zealand because she was recovering from an operation. "This issue here is Grace is still missing and we want to find her".

She failed to check in with family, which is very out of character for her, they say.

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

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Grace Millane's father, David Millane, made a tearful pela for his daughter's return.

Millane graduated from the University of Lincoln in September before beginning her trip. I'm not going to speculate on how they met.

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

They revealed yesterday that their investigations included questioning the man who was with Millane when she was last seen.

When asked if Millane knew the man before the evening she disappeared, Beard would only say that "we don't have any evidence of that at this stage", and wouldn't comment on whether the pair met on Tinder.

Earlier in the day police released photographs of a necklace and a watch in the hopes of finding her whereabouts. "Grace has never been out of contact for this amount of time".

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.

He said: "I would just like to take this opportunity to appeal to anybody who has seen, spoken to or come into contact with Grace over the last few days to come forward with any detail, no matter how small, and contact the investigation team". "We are all extremely upset, and it's very hard at this time to fully describe the range of emotions we are going through".

"Our hearts go out to them".

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