Detectives searching for missing backpacker believe she was murdered

08 December, 2018, 15:37 | Author: Sheila Harris
  • A police officer investigating the murder of British tourist Grace Millane stands at a crime scene along a section of Scenic Drive in the Waitakere Ra

She had been in contact with her family almost every day until December 1, the day before her birthday.

"Sadly the evidence we have gathered to this point of the inquiry has established that this is a homicide", Detective Inspector Scott Beard told reporters earlier on Saturday.

Police said they were questioning a 26-year-old man about the suspected slaying of 22-year-old Grace Millane and a vehicle of interest had been secured.

"Grace's family have been advised of this development and they are devastated", Det Insp Beard added. Beard said she met a man for a couple of hours on Saturday evening before surveillance cameras showed them entering the CityLife hotel at about 9:40 p.m.

Police said they were still looking for Ms Millane, an advertising and marketing graduate from Billericay, Essex, but all the evidence pointed to her having been killed.

Grace Millane had been in New Zealand for about two weeks.

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

'We still do no know where Grace is.

'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'.

"Somebody may find it somewhere, we don't know what has happened to it".

Her birthday was on Sunday but she didn't contact her family.

Police investigating the murder of British tourist Grace Millane stand by a cordoned off crime scene along a section of Scenic Drive in the Waitakere
Police investigating the murder of British tourist Grace Millane stand by a cordoned off crime scene along a section of Scenic Drive in the Waitakere

(AAP) Missing British backpacker Grace Millane has been murdered, police in New Zealand say.

David Millane, father of missing British tourist Grace Millane, speaks to the media as police give updates on the investigation.

"Many of these calls have been from members of the public, offering accommodation and assistance to the Millane family".

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.

Beard said "that property is going to be somewhere, the clothing is going to be somewhere, we haven't found it". Her passport is also missing.

On Saturday police released images of her necklace and watch and urged anyone who recognised the items to come forward.

DI Beard confirmed that the man being questioned by police on Saturday was the same individual.

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

"Her family are devastated", he said. "The issue here is Grace is still missing and we want to find her".

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

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