Wednesday, 19 December, 2018

Grace Millane: Backpacker’s disappearance being treated as suspected 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
Andrew Cummings | 09 December, 2018, 06:10

"Sadly, the evidence we have gathered to this point of the enquiry has established that this is a homicide", Auckland City Police's Detective Inspector Scott Beard said in a statement on Saturday afternoon.

Asked why police were now treating Millane's disappearance as a murder, Beard said it was a combination of factors. She went to Catholic school, and so did they, so they know her.

Miss Millane's body has not been found, but Det Insp Beard said police were "determined to do everything we can to find her".

He added: "I know that the thoughts of all New Zealanders will be with Grace's family tonight".

"A 26-year-old man was located at a central Auckland address by police".

Grace's father David Millane described her as a "lovely, outgoing, fun-loving, family-orientated daughter".

Grace Millane, 22, was last seen a week ago entering an inner-city hotel in Auckland with a man.

Det Insp Beard confirmed that the man being questioned by police on Saturday was the same individual. Many young people in our parish knew her. "The issue here is Grace is still missing and we want to find her".

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Police have located a "vehicle of interest" and are now investigating where it has travelled to.

Her brothers Michael and Declan Millane had been vocal in their search for their sister, urging people to share and retweet images of her online.

Her passport, a pale pink Casio Baby-G watch and necklace have not been found. But, a week after her disappearance, police say their evidence leads them to believe that she is dead.

The Essex woman had embarked on a year-long worldwide trip following her university graduation.

The advertising graduate and keen artist arrived in New Zealand on November 20, after travelling through South America.

He said the mood at the church was "rather sombre and sad", adding: "I didn't know her personally but numerous people here do".

Two police officers are guarding the scene less than a kilometre past the Waitakere Dam, while another was donning a white face mask and forensic examination outfit.

Members of Millane's family have made appeals on Facebook for information.

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