Grace Millane disappearance now a homicide investigation, police say

A man will be charged with the murder of British backpacker Grace Millane

Missing British backpacker Grace Millane's family are "devastated" as New Zealand police confirm they are now treating her disappearance as a homicide.

A press release issued on Saturday said: "The 26-year-old who has been speaking with Police in relation to the disappearance of Grace Millane will be charged with her murder".

Later in the day, police said they planned to charge the man with Millane's murder and he would be held in custody until his first court appearance on Monday.

At a press conference on Saturday, Detective Inspector Scott Beard said police had gathered evidence, from CCTV footage and scene examinations at the CityLife Hotel on Queen St, that determined "Grace is no longer alive".

He added that Ms Millane's family were "devastated" by the development and said: "We still do not know where Grace is".

"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".

He added: "Today were have identified and secured a vehicle of interest, and we are now making enquiries to find out exactly where that vehicle has been".

Detectives have since assessed Grace's belongings, which were left at the backpackers where she was staying.

The search for the body of missing British backpacker Grace Millane continues on Sunday morning.

Georgina Littlejohn     2 hours Saturday December 8th 2018   
 


	
		
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Georgina Littlejohn 2 hours Saturday December 8th 2018 Historic Radio Times listings now online through BBC Genome Project Culture

She had daily contact with her loved ones via social media but her father, David Millane, said the family last heard from her on December 1.

"Many of our young people went to school with her".

Millane was on a year-long OE after graduating from the University of Lincoln in September. I'm not going to speculate on how they met.

Her passport is also missing.

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

"I know that the thoughts of all new Zealanders will be with Grace's family tonight, and I want to reassure everyone both here and overseas that New Zealand Police are determined to do everything we can to find her", he said.

The Millane family are working with the Lucie Blackman Trust, which supports families of people in crisis overseas.

Millane was last seen at a hotel with a man, who has not been named.

"Everybody who is a parent will understand what the family is going through", said Detective Inspector Scott Beard.




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