Friday, 14 December, 2018

Disappearance of missing backpacker in Auckland being treated as murder

Grace Millane 22 was last seen a week ago entering an inner-city hotel in Auckland with a man Grace Millane: Police start murder inquiry
Kenny Thornton | 08 December, 2018, 11:02

Ms Millane, who turned 22 on Sunday, was last seen with a 'male companion'at CityLife Hotel, in Auckland, on December 1.

Earlier on Saturday, police said some of Millane's belongings, including her passport, a pale pink Casio Baby-G watch and a silver necklace with a green stone in the middle, were missing from the hostel she was staying at.

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".

Mr Millane said her family are all "extremely upset" and appealed for the public's help in finding his daughter.

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.

Speaking at a news conference in Auckland on Friday, Grace's father, David Millane, said his daughter had been "bombarding us with numerous photographs and messages of her adventures" before she went missing. He also said investigators were looking into her credit card activity to see the last time she made a transaction.

A 26-year-old man is now being held in connection with the murder, Det Insp Beard added.

"I know that the thoughts of all New Zealanders will be with Grace's family tonight and I want to reassure everyone both here and overseas, that NZ Police are determined to do everything we can to find Grace", Beard added.

Det Insp Beard confirmed today that the man being questioned by police on Saturday was the same individual.

Millane was on a year-long OE after graduating from the University of Lincoln in September.

Solari wants to see intensity against minnows Melilla
Real Madrid are now fifth in La Liga on 23 points, five points off division leaders Barcelona, who travel to rivals Espanyol on Saturday night.

"We know that he was with her on the Saturday evening and went to a number of places before going to the Citylife Hotel", Mr Beard said.

The last confirmed sighting of Grace is still 9.41pm Saturday night going into the CityLife Hotel, Beard said.

Millane called his daughter a "fun-loving, family-oriented daughter" and urged anyone with information to contact police.

Detectives have since assessed Grace's belongings, which were left at the backpackers where she was staying.

After visiting Peru, she arrived in New Zealand on November 20 and had been in near-daily contact with her family until December 1 - the day before her 22nd birthday.

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

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

He said: "As part of our investigation, we have reviewed hours and hours of CCTV footage and this will continue throughout the weekend".

He wouldn't speculate where Grace was killed, Beard said.

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