British backpacker missing in NZ was murdered

British backpacker missing in NZ was murdered

British backpacker missing in NZ was murdered

"Sadly, the evidence we have gathered to this point of the enquiry has established that this is a homicide", Auckland City Police's Detective Inspector Scott Beard said in a statement on Saturday afternoon.

Auckland Police say he will remain in police custody until Monday morning when he will appear in the Auckland District Court.

Her father, David Millane, has travelled to New Zealand and held an emotional press conference yesterday.

Millane's father David, a millionaire property developer, flew into New Zealand early yesterday.

New Zealand police confirmed they are now treating British backpacker Grace Millane's (pictured) disappearance as a homicide.

Mr Millane said her family are all "extremely upset" and appealed for the public's help in finding his daughter.

"Grace's family have been advised of this development and are devastated".

A 26-year-old man is now being held in connection with the murder, Det Insp Beard added.

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Detectives seized a "vehicle of interest" on Saturday and inquiries were under way to establish where it had been.

Mr Beard said Ms Millane's passport, necklace and watch were still missing and police wanted anyone with information on these or anything else to get in touch on 0800 676 255.

Police have revealed Grace was last seen with a man at the City Life hotel on December 1 before she disappeared. "Her clothing's going to be somewhere, we haven't found it, and somebody may find it".

Searches have also been carried out at the backpackers' accommodation where she was staying.

Ms Millane was last seen last Saturday night entering the four-star CityLife Hotel at 9.41pm.

A 26-year-old man is now being held in connection with the murder, Det Insp Beard added.

He was brought back here to Auckland Central Police Station and is now speaking to us in relation to the murder of Grace Millane.

DI Beard confirmed that the man being questioned by police on Saturday was the same individual.

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"The evidence we have located so far, our scene examination, from the CCTV footage we have and our investigation has determined that Grace is no longer alive and this is a murder investigation".

"We have no understanding of what the motive was". Beard said there has been no evidence of foul play so far.

In a statement released on Saturday morning (New Zealand time), they said it had been "an extremely hard and emotional time for us all".

Asked if they had met on the Tinder dating app, the detective said: "I'm not going to speculate on how they met".

Grace Millane's belongings, including a necklace and a Baby-G watch.

He said: "As part of our investigation, we have reviewed hours and hours of CCTV footage and this will continue throughout the weekend".

Police believe they visited a number of locations that evening and are looking for information on where a vehicle identified in the case has been driven.

They had received "a lot" of phone calls from the public and those were being "worked through and prioritised".

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The Lucie Blackman Trust, which has been supporting Millane's family, posted on its Facebook page that they were "incredibly saddened" by the police announcement.

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