Father's emotional plea as police have 'grave fears' for backpacker

Father's emotional plea as police have 'grave fears' for backpacker

The suspect, who was being questioned by police in relation to her disappearance, will remain in police custody until Monday when he will appear at Auckland District Court.

She was last seen in Auckland on December 1.

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". "At this point, we hold grave concerns for her safety".

Mr Millane said her family are all "extremely upset" and appealed for the public's help in finding his daughter.

The last confirmed sighting of Grace is still 9.41pm Saturday night going into the CityLife Hotel, Beard said.

Police yesterday identified an apartment of interest and a scene examination by police and forensic experts was still taking place, he said. He would not confirm what type of vehicle it was.

"I know that the thoughts of all new Zealanders will be with Grace's family tonight, and I want to reassure everyone both here and overseas that New Zealand Police are determined to do everything we can to find her", he said.

DI Beard added: "Obviously this means we are treating Grace's disappearance as a homicide investigation. This issue here is Grace is still missing and we want to find her".

Earlier on Saturday, police said some of Millane's belongings, including her passport, a pale pink Casio Baby-G watch and a silver necklace with a green stone in the middle, were missing from the hostel she was staying at.

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

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"We still do not know where Grace is".

Earlier today, police investigating the disappearance of English tourist Grace Millane released photographs of jewellery that is missing from the backpackers where she was staying.

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

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

"All I can say is that we know they were together from the time at the Sky City Hotel".

He said: 'Just after 3pm this afternoon (Saturday) a 26-year-old man was located at a central Auckland address by police.

Her father, a 60-year-old property developer, fought back tears as he urged anyone who has any information about his "outgoing, fun-loving" daughter to come forward.

He was brought back here to Auckland Central Police Station and is now speaking to us in relation to the murder of Grace Millane.

She graduated from the University of Lincoln in September and had embarked on a year-long worldwide trip.

Ms Millane (pictured) arrived in New Zealand on November 20.

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