Backpacker's disappearance being treated as suspected murder

Cheryl Sanders
December 8, 2018

The 26-year-old man was questioned by detectives after he was traced by police to at an address in central Auckland on Saturday afternoon.

"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.

Fighting back tears, he told a press conference: "Grace is a lovely, outgoing, fun-loving, family-orientated daughter". The father had traveled from Britain to New Zealand earlier in the week.

"Our hearts go out to them".

A man is to be charged with the murder of British backpacker Grace Millane, police said.

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

David Millane arrived in New Zealand on Friday morning, after the family raised the alert earlier in the week, having not heard from Grace since Saturday (December 1) - which he said was unusual. He wouldn't give a description of the vehicle or say where it was found.

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

Police say Grace Millane was last spotted entering CityLife hotel in Auckland's CBD with a man on Saturday.

"You know, that property is going to be somewhere".

Her brother, Michael Millane, said the family began getting anxious on Monday when she did not reply to messages.

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

CCTV footage captured Millane leaving Andy's Burgers & Bar, on the first level of Sky City, at 7.15pm last Saturday, December 1.

The last confirmed sighting of Millane was at 9.41pm the same day at the Citylife Hotel in central Auckland, when she was seen with a "male companion".

DI Beard added: "Obviously this means we are treating Grace's disappearance as a homicide investigation".

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.

Police had "no reason or understanding what the motive was", he said.

'We still do no know where Grace is.

Beard said "that property is going to be somewhere, the clothing is going to be somewhere, we haven't found it. This issue here is Grace is still missing and we want to find her".

Beard said he had no evidence to suggest Millane knew the man before Saturday night but said he would not speculate on how they met.

Other reports by iNewsToday