The next steps in the Grace Millane case

The next steps in the Grace Millane case

Kerry Wise
December 9, 2018

New Zealand police announced Saturday that believe the British backpacker who has been missing for a week was murdered and they will charge a man they detained earlier in the day for questioning.

A 26-year-old man is being questioned by detectives after he was located by police at an address in central Auckland on Saturday afternoon.

An Auckland City Police spokesperson said evidence gathered told officers she was "no longer alive".

He also added that Millane's current whereabouts remain unknown, and that the police are "determined to find her and return her to her family".

Det Insp Beard added: "We still do not know where Grace is".

"The issue here is Grace is still missing and we want to find her".

(AAP) The last confirmed sighting of Millane was at 9.41pm the same day at the Citylife Hotel in central Auckland, when she was seen with a "male companion".

She was last seen in Auckland on December 1. "Our thoughts are with her family at this very bad time".

Police also seized a auto yesterday and it was likely used to transport Millane's body, which was still missing, retired Bay of Plenty District crime manager and Detective Inspector Graham Bell said.

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"That property is going to be somewhere, the clothing is going to be somewhere, we haven't found it".

Ms Millane, from Essex, graduated from university in September and had embarked on a year-long worldwide trip. "Somebody may find it somewhere, we don't know what has happened to it".

That was especially so for David Millane, as police had met the distraught father, but also for other family in the United Kingdom, including Millane's mother Gillian, unable to travel to New Zealand because she was recovering from an operation.

"I'm not going to speculate on how they met", he said.

Beard said Millane had been out of contact with her parents for days and, especially worrying to her family, they weren't able to contact her on Sunday for her 22nd birthday.

Despite a major police search and public campaign for information, no further sightings of the backpacker have been confirmed.

The Millane family are working with the Lucie Blackman Trust, which supports families of people in crisis overseas.

Images of her pale pink watch and silver necklace were released by police after it was noted they were missing from her belongings at the backpackers' hostel where she was staying.