Disappearance of missing backpacker in Auckland being treated as murder

Disappearance of missing backpacker in Auckland being treated as murder

A 26-year-old man, who was with Ms Millane when she was last seen, was speaking with authorities and police advised on Saturday afternoon that he would be charged with her murder.

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.

Grace Millane's father David said his daughter had been excited about coming to New Zealand and had bombarded the family with images of her adventures since arriving.

The Essex woman had embarked on a year-long worldwide trip following her university graduation. "This issue here is Grace is still missing and we want to find her".

Earlier today, police investigating the disappearance of English tourist Grace Millane released photographs of jewellery that is missing from the backpackers where she was staying.

Officers have conducted a scene examination at an apartment at the CityLife Hotel and were trawling through "hundreds" of hours of CCTV footage as part of the investigation.

She had daily contact with her loved ones via social media but her father, David Millane, said the family last heard from her on December 1.

A 26-year-old man is now being held in connection with the murder, Det Insp Beard added. He also said investigators were looking into her credit card activity to see the last time she made a transaction.

Police have identified and secured a vehicle of interest.

Det Insp Beard said: 'Detectives have assessed Grace's belongings that were found at the backpackers where she was staying.

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"All I can say is that we know they were together from the time at the Sky City Hotel".

"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.

Photos on her Instagram showed she travelled to Cape Reinga with friends before returning to Auckland.

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

This was her first time travelling overseas alone.

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

Her family have been left "devastated" by the development, Auckland City Police Detective Inspector Scott Beard said.

Police continue to offer support to the Millane family, both in New Zealand and in the UK.

Anyone with information that could help with the investigation has been asked to contact 0800 676 255.

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

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