New Zealand police to charge man over murder of British woman
>> WELLINGTON: New Zealand police said yesterday that they believe a 22-yearold British tourist who has been missing for a week was murdered, and they will lay charges against a man they detained earlier in the day for questioning.
Grace Millane was on a planned yearlong trip abroad that began in Peru. She arrived in New Zealand last month and was last seen on the night of Dec 1 entering a central Auckland hotel with a 26-yearold man.
Police said they brought that man into the central Auckland police station yesterday afternoon for questioning. Later in the day, police said they planned to charge the man with Ms Millane’s murder and he would be held in custody until his first court appearance tomorrow.
Detective Inspector Scott Beard said he told Ms Millane’s devastated father, David Millane, yesterday that they believe Millane was killed. The father had travelled from Britain to New Zealand earlier in the week.
Mr Beard said they don’t know where Ms Millane’s body is located but they’re determined to find it and return it to her family.
“I know that the thoughts of all New Zealanders will be with Grace’s family tonight,’’ Mr Beard said.
Police have been conducting a scene examination at a unit in the hotel. Mr Beard said they’re also examining a vehicle and want to figure out where it has been driven over the past week.
Ms Millane had been staying at a backpacker hostel in Auckland and left some of her belongings there. Mr Beard said she met a man for a couple of hours on Saturday evening before surveillance cameras showed them entering the CityLife hotel at about 9.40pm.
Her birthday was on Sunday but she didn’t contact her family.
Five days later, on Friday, David Millane arrived in New Zealand and spoke with media.
“Grace is a lovely, outgoing, fun-loving, family-oriented daughter,’’ he said, adding that she was usually in touch with her family every day.
“She arrived here on the 20th of November, and has been bombarding us with numerous photographs and messages of her adventures,’’ Mr Millane said. “We are all extremely upset, and it’s very difficult at this time to fully describe the range of emotions we are going through.’’