Grace Millane missing: Brit backpacker's disappearance now MURDER investigation

Grace Millane 22 was last seen a week ago entering an inner-city hotel in Auckland with a man

Grace Millane: Police start murder inquiry

The 26-year-old man who has been speaking with police about the disappearance of British backpacker Grace Millane will be charged with her murder.

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.

New Zealand Police said the man will remain in custody until Monday morning, when he will appear in the Auckland District Court.

"Sadly the evidence we have gathered to this point of the inquiry has established that this is a homicide".

He added the "thoughts of all New Zealanders will be with Grace's family tonight".

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

A 26-year-old man is now being held in connection with the murder, Det Insp Beard added.

The last confirmed sighting of Millane was at 9.41pm the same day at the Citylife Hotel in central Auckland, when she was seen with a "male companion".

Grace last made contact with her family last Saturday, December 1.

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

"Everyone who is a parent out there will understand and appreciate what the family is going through".

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

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

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

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

Millane's father David, a millionaire property developer, flew into New Zealand early yesterday.

Earlier in the day police released photographs of a necklace and a watch in the hopes of finding her whereabouts.

Searches have also been carried out at the backpackers' accommodation where she was staying. "Grace has never been out of contact for this amount of time".

"I want to reassure everyone, both here and overseas, that New Zealand Police are determined to do everything we can to find her".

"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.

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

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

"As a family we have been extremely concerned for her welfare", he said.

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