Please find Grace
Father’s appeal over missing backpacker
The father of the missing 22-year-old British backpacker Grace Millane has made an emotional appeal for information that might help find his daughter.
New Zealand police said they have grave fears for Millane, who disappeared from central Auckland on Saturday. Millane’s father, David, arrived in Auckland on Thursday and issued a plea for people to come forward with any information.
“Grace is a lovely, outgoing, funloving, family-orientated daughter,” he said. “Grace has never been out of contact for this amount of time. She’s usually in daily contact with either her mother, myself, her brothers or members of the family on social media.”
Millane’s father said she had been “bombarding [the family] with numerous photographs and messages of her adventures” but that she stopped contacting them on Saturday.
“We are all extremely upset and it’s very difficult at this time to fully describe the range of emotions we are going through,” he said.
Police said the missing person investigation was progressing rapidly and 20 police officers working overtime had tracked Millane entering the four-star City Life Hotel on Queen Street in central Auckland at 9.41pm on 1 December with a male companion. It is the last confirmed sighting of her.
Police have identified and questioned the man entering the hotel with Millane, and he remains a person of interest but he has not been taken into custody.
A team of forensic investigators are examining an apartment in the hotel and police officers are continuing to review hours of CCTV footage of innercity Auckland and the hotel building.
Det Insp Scott Beard, of the Auckland city police, appealed for anyone who had been in or near the City Life hotel at the time of Millane’s disappearance to contact police.
“It has now been six days since Grace was last seen, and at this point we hold grave fears for her safety,” he said. “At present we have spoken to a person and we still have no evidence of foul play. Grace is still missing.”
Police said they were waiting for British banks to respond to requests for information regarding any activity on Grace’s bank cards and accounts.
Millane, who is from Essex and graduated from the University of Lincoln with a degree in advertising and marketing in September, was part way through a year-long round-theworld trip. She arrived in New Zealand on 20 November, following a six-week group visit to South America.
She was travelling alone and staying in backpackers’ accommodation in central Auckland, where she was due to stay until 8 December before visiting other parts of the country followed by a visit to Australia.
On Tuesday, Millane’s brother Declan posted on Facebook that the family had not heard from Grace since Saturday 1 December and asked people to share an appeal for her whereabouts.
Speaking to New Zealand TV station The Project NZ on Thursday, he said: “We raised our concerns on Monday 3 December with local police and the embassy in New Zealand. They’ve been nothing but helpful. We just urge you please to bring my sister home.”
Her belongings were left in her room at the Base Backpackers hostel on Queen Street. She was last seen at the hostel on Saturday morning. Police released CCTV images of Millane leaving the Sky City casino in Auckland at around 7.15pm on Saturday.
A recent graduate, Grace Millane, disappeared in Auckland, where she was captured on CCTV, on 1 December
David Millane joined police in New Zealand yesterday to issue an appeal for information about his missing daughter