Man seen with backpacker to be charged with murder

Saul Bowman
December 10, 2018

A body believed to be the British backpacker who vanished more than a week ago in New Zealand was found Sunday, police said as they charged a man in her murder.

The circumstances surrounding Millane's disappearance and death are still not yet clear, however court documents show she was killed between December 1 and December 2.

Police said there's no indication Millane and the 26-year-old suspect knew each other before they were spotted at the hotel, but investigators would not elaborate on how they met.

British backpacker Grace Millane, 22, went missing in Auckland, New Zealand, on December 1.

Remains found at the scene had not been formally identified but were believed to be those of Ms Millane, Detective Inspector Scott Beard told the media on Sunday afternoon.

"Obviously this brings the search for Grace to an end".

"Grace is a lovely, outgoing, fun-loving, family-oriented daughter", he said, adding that she was usually in touch with her family every day.

Her father, David Millane, said they last had contact on the day she vanished. "They're shocked and saddened by what's happened". The father had traveled from Britain to New Zealand earlier in the week.

"These kinds of things don't help the situation but as I say I think these are reasonably isolated incidents towards tourists and from that perspective, we don't see it having an impact long-term as long as it is isolated".

Millane was on a year-long OE after graduating from the University of Lincoln in September.

Bude Tunnel Christmas lights
Cult Sainsbury's tourist attraction covered in Christmas lights

Grace Millane was described as a "fun loving, outgoing and [a] family-orientated person".

Police have released two photographs of a 2016 red Toyota Corolla hatchback was hired from a central Auckland rental vehicle company just before lunchtime on Sunday.

Masses in Millane's memory were planned for Sunday morning (UK time) where churchgoers would be "praying for her and her family".

After visiting Peru, she arrived alone in New Zealand last month and had been in touch with family and friends almost daily until her disappearance.

This was her first time travelling overseas alone.

- December 5: Millane is reported missing to City of Auckland Police.

She was on a yearlong worldwide overseas experience, he said.

Millane had been staying at a backpacker hostel in Auckland and left some of her belongings there.

A man has been charged in connection with her murder.

Her family was surprised and anxious when she didn't contact them on her birthday or get in touch over on the days that followed. The man was not taken into custody and police said there was no evidence of foul play.


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