Missing Backpacker Grace Millane Case Is Now being Treated As Suspected Murder

Missing Backpacker Grace Millane Case Is Now being Treated As Suspected Murder

A 26-year-old man, who was with Ms Millane when she was last seen, was speaking with authorities and police advised on Saturday afternoon that he would be charged with her murder.

Miss Millane's body has not yet been found, but Det Insp Beard said police were "determined to do all we can to find her".

Grace Millane's family say they are staying positive and hope she returns home soon.

Her brother, Michael Millane, said the family began getting anxious on Monday when she did not reply to messages.

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 family are devastated", he said.

Detectives searching for her said several of her possessions, including her passport, are also missing.

The case of the 22-year-old British backpacker in New Zealand has gone from a missing persons case to a murder investigation, according to Auckland City Police.

Det Insp Beard confirmed today that the man being questioned by police on Saturday was the same individual.

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

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When asked if Millane knew the man before the evening she disappeared, Beard would only say that "we don't have any evidence of that at this stage", and wouldn't comment on whether the pair met on Tinder.

They revealed yesterday that their investigations included questioning the man who was with Millane when she was last seen.

The last confirmed sighting of Grace is still 9.41pm Saturday night going into the CityLife Hotel, Beard said.

After visiting Peru she arrived in New Zealand on November 20 and had been near-daily contact with her family until December 1. I'm not going to speculate on how they met.

"The issue here is Grace is still missing and we want to find her".

On Saturday police released images of her necklace and watch and urged anyone who recognised the items to come forward.

Fighting back tears, he told a press conference: "Grace is a lovely, outgoing, fun-loving, family-orientated daughter".

Her other belongings had remained this week at Base Backpackers, where she had been booked in to stay until today.

"I would just like to take this opportunity to appeal to anybody who has seen, spoken to, or come into contact with Grace over the last few days, to come forward with any detail, no matter how small, and contact the investigation team", he said.

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

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