Man to be charged with murder of missing British backpacker
A 26-year-old man is to be charged with the murder of the missing British backpacker Grace Millane, 22, who disappeared in New Zealand a week ago. Police said the man would appear at Auckland district court tomorrow morning.
Yesterday police said they were treating Millane’s disappearance as a murder inquiry. “Grace is no longer alive; this is now a murder investigation,” said DI Scott Beard of Auckland city police, citing evidence that had been uncovered during the investigation, including CCTV footage and scene examinations.
He said: “The family are devastated, everybody who is a parent out there will understand what this family is going through. There is family back in the UK and our hearts go out to them as well.”
Beard added: “We still do not know where Grace is. We are determined to find her and return her to her family.”
Millane, from Wickford in Essex, was on a year-long around-theworld trip after graduating from the University of Lincoln with a degree in advertising and marketing when she went missing in Auckland a week ago. She had arrived in New Zealand on 20 November, following a six-week trip to South America.
Her father, David Millane was met at the airport by New Zealand police after reporting his daughter missing on Wednesday. He issued an emotional plea for help, weeping as he asked the public to come forward with any information relating to his missing child.
He added that Grace was rarely out of contact with her family and had “bombarded” them with pictures from the New Zealand leg of her travels, before falling silent on the day of her disappearance.
“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. “Grace is a lovely, outgoing, fun-loving, familyorientated daughter.”
Grace Millane had recently graduated before going on an around-theworld trip.