Suspect to be charged with murder of missing British backpacker Grace Millane

Grace Millane: Police start murder inquiry

Grace Millane: Police start murder inquiry

Missing British backpacker Grace Millane's family are "devastated" as New Zealand police confirm they are now treating her disappearance as a homicide.

The 26-year-old is the same man who was questioned previously by police and was with Ms Millane at several places, including Sky City, before going to CityLife Hotel with her.

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.

Grace Millane's father David said his daughter had been excited about coming to New Zealand and had bombarded the family with images of her adventures since arriving.

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

A 26-year-old man is being held in connection with her murder and a vehicle of interest has been found.

Detectives said yesterday they were continuing to view hundreds of hours of CCTV footage, while they continue to examine the CityLife Hotel in central Auckland, where she was last seen entering with a man on Saturday night.

After visiting Peru, she arrived in New Zealand on November 20 and had been in near-daily contact with her family until December 1 - the day before her 22nd birthday.

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

"Dozens of calls have been made to the 0800 number and all of this information continues to be reviewed and assessed".

Ms Millane, from Essex, was described as a "lovely, outgoing, fun-loving, family-orientated daughter" by her father, David Millane.

Millane graduated from the University of Lincoln in September before beginning her trip.

Asked if the pair had met on the Tinder dating app, the detective said: "I'm not going to speculate on how they met".

DI Beard said the investigation into Grace's disappearance was "progressing rapidly".

Police released images of Ms Millane's watch and necklace earlier on Saturday.

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

She had booked to stay at the Base Backpackers hostel in central Auckland until 8 December.

Her father, David Millane, said they last had contact on the day she vanished.

He said: "I would just like to take this opportunity to appeal to anybody who has seen, spoken to or come into contact with Grace over the last few days to come forward with any detail, no matter how small, and contact the investigation team".

"We are all extremely upset and it is very hard at this time to fully describe the range of emotions we are all going through".

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

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