British backpacker murdered in New Zealand

British backpacker murdered in New Zealand

The case of the 22-year-old British backpacker in New Zealand has gone from a missing persons case to a murder investigation, according to Auckland City Police. The murder suspect, a 26-year old man, is scheduled to appear at Auckland district court on Monday, The Guardian reports.

Millane, 22, from Essex in the United Kingdom, was last seen in central Auckland on December 1 and was reported missing on Wednesday.

Millane was last seen on CCTV on Saturday December 1 entering CityLife Hotel with a 26-year-old man.

Miss Millane's body has not yet been found, but Det Insp Beard said police were "determined to do all we can to find her".

"Grace's family has been advised of this development and they're devastated" Beard told the media. We are determined to find her...

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Police had identified and found a vehicle of interest and officers were trying to find out where it had been, he said.

Millane had been staying at a backpacker hostel in Auckland and left some of her belongings there.

A auto seized in relation to Millane's disappearance, meanwhile, appears to be the key piece of evidence in her death, a former police inspector says.

New Zealand police confirmed on Saturday afternoon they are treating the investigation as a homicide. "We are all extremely upset, and it's very hard at this time to fully describe the range of emotions we are going through".

Father John Corbyn, of Our Lady of Good Counsel Roman Catholic Church in Wickford, where the Millane family lives said she was well known in the community.

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"Several of her belongings, including her passport, are missing and police believe it is likely that Grace has these items with her".

Millane was on a year-long OE after graduating from the University of Lincoln in September.

The backpacker's birthday was on Sunday, but she did not contact her family.

NZ Police said: "The Millane family have requested privacy at this time and will not be making any further statements at this stage". "Grace has never been out of contact for this amount of time".

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