Man arrested over MURDER of British backpacker Grace Millane in New Zealand
- Author: Joey Payne Dec 09, 2018,
Dec 09, 2018, 1:14
They had previously been speaking to him over Millane's disappearance.
Grace Millane had been in New Zealand for about two weeks.
David Millane arrived in New Zealand on Friday morning, after the family raised the alert earlier in the week, having not heard from Grace since Saturday (December 1) - which he said was unusual.
Asked why police were now treating Millane's disappearance as murder, he said it was a combination of factors.
Detective Inspector Scott Beard, from Auckland City Police, said at a press conference today: "Grace is no longer alive and this is a murder investigation".
Beard said they "still do not know where Grace is" but they were "determined to find her and return her to her family".
CCTV footage captured Millane leaving Andy's Burgers & Bar, on the first level of Sky City, at 7.15pm last Saturday, December 1.
A number of Miss Millane's belongings - including her passport, a silver necklace and pink watch - are missing, and police say they hope their discovery could help them locate her body. "The issue here is Grace is still missing and we want to find her". "They're shocked and saddened by what's happened". "Our thoughts are with her family at this terrible time".
Police have now "identified and secured a vehicle of interest".
She arrived in New Zealand last month and was last seen on the night of December 1 entering a central Auckland hotel with a 26-year-old man.
Police have not uncovered any evidence the pair had met before.
"He was brought back to the Auckland Central Police Station and is now speaking to us in relation to the murder of Grace Millane".
Mr Beard said Ms Millane's passport, necklace and watch were still missing and police wanted anyone with information on these or anything else to get in touch on 0800 676 255.
"That property is going to be somewhere, the clothing is going to be somewhere, we haven't found it".
"We still do not know where Grace is".
Police said they were still looking for Ms Millane, although evidence pointed to the fact she had been killed.
"Grace is a lovely, outgoing, fun loving, family orientated daughter". Her brothers Michael and Declan Millane had been vocal in their search for their sister, urging people to share and retweet images of her online.
The Essex woman had embarked on a year-long worldwide trip following her university graduation.