Published: Sun, December 09, 2018
Global | By Craig Ferguson

Grace Millane: Backpacker’s disappearance being treated as suspected murder

Grace Millane: Backpacker’s disappearance being treated as suspected murder

"A 26-year-old man located in Auckland was speaking with police about the murder and a vehicle of interest had been secured".

On Saturday police released images of a pink watch and a necklace belonging to her and asked for the public's help in finding them.

The police priority would be tracking the vehicle's movements with Global Positioning System or using cellphone towers - which was possible even if the mobile phones of those in it were switched off, he revealed.

The man Millane was seen with was taken into the central Auckland police station on Saturday afternoon for questioning.

They then about 9pm said the man would be charged.

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

"Sadly, the evidence we have gathered to this point of the enquiry has established that this is a homicide", Detective Inspector Scott Beard said.

News of the expected murder charge comes after police confirmed Millane's disappearance was being treated as a homicide.

But the detective added: "We still do not know where Grace is".

The Millane family have requested privacy at this time and will not be making any further statements at this stage.

Police said earlier that they held grave fears for the English tourist, who arrived in New Zealand two weeks ago.

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

"They will also be trying very hard to see where that vehicle has been".

"You know, that property is going to be somewhere". If that failed to turn up information, police could track Millane's and the suspect's mobile phones through Global Positioning System or through polling - checking which mobile phone towers had picked up their signal.

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

"There's a chance that the killer has tried to get rid of those", Bell said.

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

"Grace is a lovely, outgoing, fun loving, family orientated daughter".

Ms Millane was in New Zealand on a gap year, having arrived in the country on November 20.

Grace's father David Millane makes a plea for information.

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

Police officers were also seen walking the streets around the hotel, apparently checking for CCTV cameras.

They are trawling through hours of CCTV footage to trace her movements.

"We thought maybe it's just the time zone, sort of catching up, but we looked into it and realised her messages hadn't been read or delivered".

"We know that he was with her on the Saturday evening and went to a number of places before going to the Citylife Hotel", Mr Beard said.

The search for the body of missing British backpacker Grace Millane continues on Sunday morning.

She was traveling alone when visiting New Zealand and had been staying at the Base Backpackers hostel in Auckland.

The major police search and public campaign for information led to dozens of calls being made to a hotline.

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