Grace Millane: Police start murder inquiry

Grace Millane: Police start murder inquiry

Missing British backpacker Grace Millane's family are "devastated" as New Zealand police confirm they are now treating her disappearance as a homicide.

Beard said they don't know where Millane's body is located but they're determined to find it and return it to her family.

He said: 'Just after 3pm this afternoon (Saturday) a 26-year-old man was located at a central Auckland address by police.

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

Ms Millane went missing from a hostel in Auckland on 1 December, the day before her 22nd birthday.

This morning police released photos of a necklace and pink Casio Baby-G watch Millane was thought to be wearing when she disappeared, and said her passport was also missing.

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

"We know that he [the 26-year-old man] was with her on the Saturday evening and went to a number of places before going to the CityLife Hotel".

'Finally I would like to take this opportunity to appeal to anybody who has seen, spoken to or come into contact with Grace over the last few days to come forward with any detail no matter how small and contact the investigation team'.

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

Her father David Millane fronted a press conference at Auckland Central Police Station on Friday after flying to New Zealand from Essex.

Police have been conducting a scene examination at a unit in the hotel. I'm not going to speculate on how they met.

Police believe Millane may have the items with her.

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".

He tearfully explained that his daughter has never been out of contact with her family for such a long period of time, usually contacting them on social media.

Beard wouldn't say whether police had seen footage of the man leaving CityLife Hotel or if he thought Millane was killed in the hotel, a large apartment-style complex.

'Grace is a lovely, outgoing, fun-loving and family orientated daughter'.

"At this point our enquiries have not led us to any further confirmed sightings of Grace, and the last known sighting is of her entering the Citylife Hotel", he said.

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