Backpacker's family 'devastated' as police say she was murdered

Backpacker's family 'devastated' as police say she was murdered

"Grace is no longer alive; this is now a murder investigation", DI Scott Beard of Auckland city police said.

Grace Millane's family has asked for privacy.

Beard said the family were informed and are "devastated".

They are also examining a "vehicle of interest", which was seized on Saturday, and are trying to find out where it had recently travelled. He would not confirm what type of vehicle it was.

He added that Ms Millane's family were "devastated" by the development and said: "We still do not know where Grace is".

The trust was "incredibly saddened" by the news.

The 22-year-old, from Essex, vanished in New Zealand a week ago.

Grace Millane had been in New Zealand for about two weeks.

Ms Millane went missing from a hostel in Auckland on 1 December, the day before her 22nd birthday. "Her clothing's going to be somewhere, we haven't found it, and somebody may find it".

"We were praying for her while she was missing, and then of course. the sad realisation that she wasn't missing any longer, as it were".

According to the newspaper, the police arrived at this conclusion after studying "evidence uncovered during the investigation, including CCTV footage and scene examinations".

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They said that several of Ms Millane's possessions, including her passport, were missing.

Other family, including Millane's mother Gillian who is unable to travel to New Zealand because she is recovering from an operation, are waiting in the United Kingdom for news.

They urged members of the public to come forward with any information. He was brought back here to Auckland Central Police Station and is now speaking to us in relation to the murder of Grace Millane.

Millane was last seen at a hotel with a man, who has not been named.

In the statement issued on Saturday, Millane's family praised Auckland police "who have been outstanding in their support and efforts in helping to find Grace".

Ms Millane was in New Zealand on a gap year, having arrived in the country on November 20. She was captured on CCTV leaving Andy's Burgers & Bar on the first level of SkyCity at 7.15pm last Saturday.

Grace's father David Millane described her as a "lovely, outgoing, fun-loving, family-orientated daughter".

Detective Beard said Millane's case has been tough, at the press conference.

"Everybody who is a parent will understand what the family is going through. our hearts go out to them".

Anyone with information about the missing items has been advised to contact 0800 676 255.

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