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New Zealand

New Zealand police charge man with murder of British backpacker Grace Millane

  • Millane, 22, was on a year-long round-the-world trip after graduating from university when she went missing in Auckland a week ago
PUBLISHED : Saturday, 08 December, 2018, 7:14pm
UPDATED : Saturday, 08 December, 2018, 10:04pm

A 26-year-old man will be charged with the murder of the missing British backpacker Grace Millane, New Zealand police have said.

Millane, 22, disappeared a week ago. Police said the 26-year-old man would appear at Auckland district court on Monday morning.

Earlier on Saturday, New Zealand police said they were treating Millane’s disappearance as a murder inquiry.

“Grace is no longer alive; this is now a murder investigation,” said Detective Inspector Scott Beard of Auckland city police, citing evidence uncovered during the investigation, including CCTV footage and scene examinations.

Grace is no longer alive; this is now a murder investigation
DI Scott Beard

“The family are devastated, everybody who is a parent out there will understand what this family is going through. There is family back in the UK and our hearts go out to them as well.

“We still do not know where Grace is. We are determined to find her and return her to her family.”

Millane, from Essex, was on a year-long round-the-world trip after graduating from the University of Lincoln with a degree in advertising and marketing when she went missing in Auckland a week ago. She had arrived in New Zealand on November 20, following a six-week visit to South America.

The Millane family have requested privacy while they deal with the loss of their daughter.

Millane’s father, David, arrived in Auckland on Friday morning and was met at the airport by New Zealand police after reporting his daughter missing on Wednesday.

The distraught father issued an emotional public plea, crying as he asked the public to come forward with any information relating to his missing child, who he said was rarely out of contact with her family, and had “bombarded” them with pictures from the New Zealand leg of her travels, before falling silent on the day of her disappearance.

“We are all extremely upset and it’s very difficult at this time to fully describe the range of emotions we are going through,” he said. “Grace is a lovely, outgoing, fun-loving, family-orientated daughter.”

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