Published: Sat, December 08, 2018
Worldwide | By Myra Stephens

Man arrested over MURDER of British backpacker Grace Millane in New Zealand

Man arrested over MURDER of British backpacker Grace Millane in New Zealand

A week of fading hopes for British backpacker Grace Millane has come to a devastating end with police saying they believe she has been murdered - although no body has been found.

"Sadly the evidence we have gathered to this point of the inquiry has established that this is a homicide", Detective Inspector Scott Beard told reporters earlier on Saturday.

"Just after 3pm this afternoon, a 26-year-old man was located at a central Auckland address by police".

Grace Millane's father David said his daughter had been excited about coming to New Zealand and had bombarded the family with images of her adventures since arriving.

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

"We now have a last known sighting of Grace at 9.41pm at the Citylife Hotel, on Saturday, December 1, with a male companion".

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

The Essex woman had embarked on a year-long worldwide trip following her university graduation.

"We still don't know where Grace is".

In a statement released on Saturday morning (New Zealand time), they said it had been "an extremely hard and emotional time for us all".

He was brought back here to Auckland Central Police Station and is now speaking to us in relation to the murder of Grace Millane.

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

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.

"Of course it's tough, everyone who is a parent out there will understand and appreciate what that family is going through", Beard said.

Asked if they had met on the Tinder dating app, the detective said: "I'm not going to speculate on how they met".

DI Beard confirmed that the man being questioned by police on Saturday was the same individual.

"Several of her belongings, including her passport, are missing and police believe it is likely that Grace has these items with her".

Images of her pale pink watch and silver necklace were released by police after it was noted they were missing from her belongings at the backpackers' hostel where she was staying.

"There's family back in the United Kingdom and our hearts go out to them as well".

"Grace is a lovely, outgoing, fun-loving, family-orientated daughter".

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