Grace Millane: Police find body in backpacker murder investigation

Grace MillaneImage copyright
Lucie Blackman Trust

Image caption

The 22-year-old graduated from university in September and went travelling shortly afterwards

Police in New Zealand investigating the murder of British backpacker Grace Millane have found a body on the outskirts of Auckland.

Det Insp Scott Beard said the body was “believed to be Grace” but was yet to be formally identified.

A 26-year-old man currently being held by police has been charged with killing Miss Millane, 22, from Essex.

Det Insp Beard said the body was found “about 10 metres” off Scenic Drive, a countryside road outside the city.

He added it was an “unbearable time for the Millane family and our hearts go out to them”.

Miss Millane, who graduated from the University of Lincoln in September, had been travelling alone in New Zealand for two weeks, following a six-week group trip through South America.

She was last seen on the evening of Saturday 1 December.

The announcement on Saturday by police that Miss Millane was “no longer alive” followed a review of CCTV footage, the forensic examination of a hotel where she was last seen, and the discovery of a vehicle.

Media captionDet Insp Scott Beard said they believed Miss Millane was “no longer alive”

The man who has been charged – who was seen with Miss Millane on the night she went missing – will remain in police custody until Monday when he is due in court, police said.

Police said her family were “devastated” after being told the missing persons case had become a murder investigation.

Speaking at a news conference in Auckland on Friday, Grace’s father, David Millane, described his daughter as “lovely” and “family-orientated”.

He added that his daughter had been “bombarding us with numerous photographs and messages of her adventures” before she went missing.

Image copyright
PA

Image caption

Police released CCTV images of the backpacker at Auckland’s Sky City entertainment complex before she disappeared

Grace Millane: Police find body in backpacker murder investigation

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