Backpacker's family 'devastated' as police say she was murdered

Evarado Alatorre
Diciembre 8, 2018

Evidence they had found had indicated Grace was no longer alive, Beard said.

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.

"We don't know what's happened to the property of hers that has been missing", he said. "At this point, we hold grave concerns for her safety".

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

The 26-year-old being questioned is the person of interest police mentioned yesterday.

The Lucie Blackman Trust, which has been supporting Millane's family, posted on its Facebook page that they were "incredibly saddened" by the police announcement.

Her father David has flown to New Zealand, where he today gave a press conference.

The major police search and public campaign for information led to dozens of calls being made to a hotline.

"Everyone who is a parent out there will understand and appreciate what the family is going through".

Detectives said yesterday they were continuing to view hundreds of hours of CCTV footage, while they continue to examine the CityLife Hotel in central Auckland, where she was last seen entering with a man on Saturday night.

New Zealand Police have announced they believe missing British backpacker Grace Millane, 22, has been murdered.

Millane and the man being interviewed by police were together on Saturday evening and went to a number of places before going into CityLife Hotel.

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Police have not uncovered any evidence the pair had met before.

"Grace is still missing and we want to find her", he added.

A vehicle of interest had been secured and police were trying to find out exactly where the vehicle had been since Millane's disappearance.

Searches have also been carried out at the backpackers' accommodation where she was staying.

Earlier in the day police released photographs of a necklace and a watch in the hopes of finding her whereabouts. Beard said there has been no evidence of foul play so far.

She graduated from the University of Lincoln in September and had embarked on a year-long worldwide trip.

Millane, the daughter of English property developer David Millane, had not been seen since leaving her hostel in Auckland last Saturday.

"We are all extremely upset and it is very hard at this time to fully describe the range of emotions we are all going through". Grace has never been out of contact for this amount of time and is usually in daily contact with either her mother, myself or her two brothers.

He wouldn't speculate where Grace was killed, Beard said.

More than 25 Police staff are now working on the investigation into the disappearance.

He said: "As part of our investigation, we have reviewed hours and hours of CCTV footage and this will continue throughout the weekend".

"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".

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