Father's emotional plea as police have 'grave fears' for backpacker

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

Auckland Police Detective Inspector Scott Beard said a 26-year-old man is being questioned in relation to Grace Millane's whereabouts.

They said that several of Ms Millane's possessions, including her passport, were missing.

'He was brought back to the Auckland Central Police Station and is now speaking to us in relation to the murder of Grace Millane.

The announcement follows a review of CCTV footage, the forensic examination of a hotel where she was last seen on Saturday 1 December, and the discovery of a vehicle.

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

New Zealand police confirmed they are now treating British backpacker Grace Millane's (pictured) disappearance as a homicide. He also said investigators were looking into her credit card activity to see the last time she made a transaction.

Police have not yet found the body of the 22-year-old from Wickford in Essex.

"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 that the man being questioned by police on Saturday was the same individual.

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

Grace Millane’s father David Millane spoke to reporters on Friday Dec. 7 2018
Grace Millane’s father David Millane spoke to reporters on Friday Dec. 7 2018

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

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.

"We've spoken to David [Grace's father] we've met him, but there is family in the United Kingdom and our hearts go out to them as well".

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

Police want the public to help find this necklace belonging to backpacker Grace Millane.

"I'm not going to speculate on how they met", he said.

Millane's father David, a millionaire property developer, flew into New Zealand early yesterday.

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

Beard wouldn't say whether police had seen footage of the man leaving CityLife Hotel or if he thought Millane was killed in the hotel, a large apartment-style complex.

'Finally I would 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'.

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