Grace Millane: Police start murder inquiry

Charles Thomson

Officers searching for 22-year-old Grace Millane are now "conducting a scene examination" at an apartment in the Citylife Hotel, Queen Street, Auckland.

"I want to reassure the public police are determined to do everything we can to find her".

Police would like to hear from anyone who may have seen any of the items matching their descriptions over the past week.

In a tearful press conference on Friday, Miss Millane's father, who has travelled to Auckland to help with investigations, said his family are "extremely concerned" for her welfare.

Detective Inspector Scott Beard told media on Thursday the lack of contact was out of character for Ms Millane, especially as it was her birthday last Sunday.

In a statement released on Saturday morning (New Zealand time), they said it had been "an extremely hard and emotional time for us all".

She had planned to travel for a year and began her journey in Peru, South America before arriving in New Zealand.

Police have released photographs of a necklace and a watch missing from the belongings Grace Millane left at the hostel where she was staying.

Grace Millane's belongings, including a necklace and a Baby-G watch.

Grace Millane: Police start murder inquiry
Grace Millane: Police start murder inquiry

A 26-year-old man - who was with Miss Millane before she went missing - is being held in Auckland in connection with the murder.

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

Police said enquiries into Grace's disappearance have not led to further confirmed sightings of her.

Police have asked the public to come forward with information about these items.

She was wearing a black dress and white shoes.

Dozens of calls had been made to the 0800 investigation helpline number, and that information continued to be reviewed and assessed, Beard said.

Described as "fun loving, outgoing and [a] family-orientated person", Millane was never out of contact with family and friends for this long, her family said.

Police continue to offer support to the Millane family, both in New Zealand and in the UK.

The British backpacker, who graduated from the University of Lincoln in September, had been travelling alone in New Zealand for two weeks.

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