Grace Millane: Police start murder inquiry

A police officer investigating the murder of British tourist Grace Millane stands at a crime scene along a section of Scenic Drive in the Waitakere Ra

A police officer investigating the murder of British tourist Grace Millane stands at a crime scene along a section of Scenic Drive in the Waitakere Ra

New Zealand Police have said a man is to be charged with the murder of missing backpacker Grace Millane. We are determined to find her...

A 26-year-old man is being questioned by officers over the disappearance of Grace Millane, who was last seen in Auckland a day before her 22nd birthday on Sunday.

"Grace's family has been advised of this development and they're devastated" Beard told the media.

The last confirmed sighting of Grace is still 9.41pm Saturday night going into the CityLife Hotel, Beard said.

They still wanted to hear from anyone who had seen any of the items, or the black dress and white sneakers Millane was wearing when she was last seen.

Earlier on Saturday, police said some of Millane's belongings, including her passport, a pale pink Casio Baby-G watch and a silver necklace with a green stone in the middle, were missing from the hostel she was staying at.

He added the "thoughts of all New Zealanders will be with Grace's family tonight".

Detectives have since assessed Grace's belongings, which were left at the backpackers where she was staying.

"We don't know what's happened to the property of hers that has been missing", he said.

After visiting Peru, she arrived in New Zealand on November 20 and had been in near-daily contact with her family until 1 December.

Police investigating the murder of British tourist Grace Millane stand by a cordoned off crime scene along a section of Scenic Drive in the Waitakere
Police investigating the murder of British tourist Grace Millane stand by a cordoned off crime scene along a section of Scenic Drive in the Waitakere

"I want to reassure everyone, both here and overseas, that New Zealand Police are determined to do everything we can to find her".

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

Inspector Beard said that, along with information provided by the 26-year-old, CCTV footage and a "scene examination" indicated Ms Millane was dead.

Police said they had received dozens of calls to a hotline and more than 25 staff were working on the case, trawling through hours of CCTV footage to trace her movements.

Police have no evidence to suggest the pair knew each other before December 1, Inspector Beard said.

He wouldn't speculate on how they met.

Earlier on Saturday police released images of her necklace and watch and urged anyone who recognised the items to come forward.

In a tearful press conference on Friday, Ms Millane's millionaire father, who has travelled to Auckland, said the "fun-loving" graduate's family are "extremely concerned" for her welfare.

Fighting back tears, he spoke to media about the "lovely, outgoing, fun-loving, family-orientated daughter" who had been so looking forward to going to New Zealand and had "bombarded us with numerous photographs and messages of her adventures" since arriving.

The father of a British backpacker missing in New Zealand has made an emotional plea for help in finding his "lovely, outgoing" daughter.

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