Man to be charged with murder of British backpacker Grace Millane

British backpacker Grace Millane

Police will charge a 26-year-old man with the murder of missing backpacker Grace Millane.

The 22-year-old from Essex - described by her father as "lovely" and "family-orientated" - was last seen in New Zealand a week ago.

"Grace is now longer alive, this is now a murder investigation", said Detective Inspector Scott Beard of Auckland city police.

Beard said the investigation had progressed rapidly since identifying the last sighting of Millane at CityLife hotel in central Auckland at 9.41pm last Saturday, and the police had received a huge amount of information from the public.

'We last had contact with her on Saturday the 1st of December and as a family we've been extremely concerned for her welfare, ' said Mr Millane, who arrived in New Zealand on Friday morning.

Ms Millane, 22, from Essex, England, was last seen at an Auckland hotel almost a week ago.

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

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

"The family are devastated, everybody who is a parent out there will understand what this family is going through".

News of the murder inquiry comes hours after Millane's family said they were "staying very positive" as the search for her continued.

Millane, the daughter of English property developer David Millane, had not been seen since leaving her hostel in Auckland last Saturday.

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"There is family back in the United Kingdom and our hearts go out to them as well".

New Zealand Police have announced they believe missing British backpacker Grace Millane, 22, has been murdered.

Grace Millane's father, David Millane, made a tearful pela for his daughter's return.

Det Insp Beard added: "We still do not know where Grace is".

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

"Grace is still missing and we want to find her", he added.

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.

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

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".

He said: "As part of our investigation, we have reviewed hours and hours of CCTV footage and this will continue throughout the weekend".

'We're all extremely upset and it's very hard at this time to describe the range of emotions we are going through'.

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