COPS PROBE CAR ON TRAGIC GRACE
Hunt for murdered backpacker’s body
A CAR has been seized by police probing the New Zealand murder of British backpacker Grace Millane.
Detectives are searching for the body of the 22-year-old graduate who went missing in Auckland last week.
The main clue was said to be a “vehicle of interest” seized by officers, though no further details were given.
Police were trying to trace the vehicle’s movements since Grace went missing last Saturday night, when she was last seen on CCTV entering the CityLife Hotel with a man.
A team of 20 police are scouring footage for evidence that she left the hotel, but so far none has been found.
A man of 26 held in the probe was due to be charged and remains in custody pending a court appearance tomorrow.
Detective Inspector Scott
Beard, leading the probe, said: “Sadly the evidence we’ve
Grace arrives in Auckland and checks into the Base Backpackers hostel.
She makes her last contact with her family. CCTV films gathered to this point has established this is a homicide. Grace’s family has been advised of this and they are devastated. The man is still being spoken to.”
He said police had “no reason or understanding what the motive was”.
Vowing to find her body so her family could bring her home, he added: “Grace is still missing. We want to find her.”
Her passport and some other
her leaving Andy’s Burgers and Bar, SkyCity at 7.15pm. At 9.41pm she enters CityLife with a man.
Grace’s family become concerned as she fails to respond to birthday messages.
A missing persons report is filed with police.
Police appeal for sightings. belongings were missing from the £10-anight Base Backpackers hostel where she was staying, near the £130-a-night CityLife apartment complex. Police believed the items were with Grace.
On the day she vanished she told pals at the hostel: “I’m going to see a friend.” She messaged others saying she was meeting a man, her family said.
Police would not confirm reports claiming she had made a date on Tinder.
Officers have identified an apartment Dad David arrives in New Zealand and appeals for information. Det Insp Scott Beard says police have “grave fears” for Grace. He will not say if she knew the of interest at the hotel and forensic experts were believed to have found vital CCTV footage and forensic evidence.
Police released photos of Grace’s necklace and watch, urging anyone who recognised them to come forward.
She had been seen on CCTV dressed for a night out as she left a bar in the Sky City casino complex at 7.15pm. She was wearing a pink wristband, suggesting she planned to return to the casino, just a few minutes from the hotel.
Her dad, property developer David, 60, flew to New Zealand where he made an emotional appeal for help.
Mum Gillian was unable to travel as she is recovering from an operation.
Grace had arrived in New Zealand on November 20 as part of a year-long worldwide trip after graduating from the University of Lincoln in September.
Last night her brother Declan tweeted a photo of her at her graduation, with the words: “I love you.”
This is a homicide. We have no reason or understanding what the motive was
DET INSP BEARD ON THE PROBE OVER BACKPACKER GRACE
man she was seen with, but police had spoken to him and “still have no evidence of foul play”. Police search an apartment at the hotel.
Police appeal for Grace’s missing passport, pink Casio Baby-G watch and silver greenstone necklace. A man of 26 is taken into custody and police find “vehicle of interest”. It is now a murder hunt.
EMOTIONAL Dad in Auckland SEARCH CityLife complex VANISHED Grace went missing in New Zealand on gap year trip
Friday, November 30
Friday, December 7