World

Father's emotional plea as police have 'grave fears' for backpacker

Father's emotional plea as police have 'grave fears' for backpacker

New Zealand Police have said a man is to be charged with the murder of missing backpacker Grace Millane.

They had previously been speaking with him over the disappearance.

A spokesman for the Foreign Office said: "We are providing consular support to the family in the United Kingdom, and working with the New Zealand Police in relation to reports of a missing British national in New Zealand".

DI Beard said on Saturday: "Sadly the evidence we have gathered at this point of the inquiry has established that this is a homicide".

A 26-year-old man is being quizzed by detectives after he was located by police in central Auckland on Saturday afternoon (early hours of Saturday in UK).

Detective Inspector Scott Beard, from Auckland City Police, said at a press conference today: "Grace is no longer alive and this is a murder investigation".

Millane, from Essex, was described as a "lovely, outgoing, fun-loving, family-orientated daughter" by her father, David Millane.

The Millane family have requested privacy at this time and will not be making any further statements at this stage.

'We still do no know where Grace is.

Police have located a "vehicle of interest" and are now investigating where it has travelled to. He would not confirm what type of vehicle it was.

Ms Millane, 22, from Essex, England, was last seen at an Auckland hotel almost a week ago.

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Beard wouldn't say whether police had seen footage of the man leaving CityLife Hotel or if he thought Millane was killed in the hotel, a large apartment-style complex.

New Zealand police confirmed they are now treating British backpacker Grace Millane's (pictured) disappearance as a homicide.

Several of her belongings, including her passport, are missing and police believe it is likely Grace had these items with her, Auckland Police Detective Inspector Scott Beard said today.

"I'm not going to speculate on how they met", he said.

"We don't know what's happened to the property of hers that has been missing", he said.

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

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

They urged members of the public to come forward with any information.

They still wanted to hear from anyone who had seen any of the items, or the black dress and white sneakers Millane was wearing when she was last seen.

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

Beard said Millane had been out of contact with her parents for days and, especially worrying to her family, they weren't able to contact her on Sunday for her 22nd birthday.





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