Sunday, 26 May, 2019

New Zealand police hold 'grave fears' for British tourist

Concern growing for British backpacker missing in New Zealand Concern growing for British backpacker missing in New Zealand By Amy Lyall| 15 hours ago
Deanna Wagner | 07 December, 2018, 15:41

The tourist, from Essex, was on a year-long round-the-world trip and had been "bombarding" her loved ones with messages and pictures from her adventure.

A month ago she hiked with the group to the Inca citadel Machu Picchu in Peru.

A confirmed sighting of Grace on Saturday, the day she was last seen.

Back in Auckland, Millane was booked into Base Backpackers until December 8.

CCTV image issued by Auckland City Police of Briton Grace Millane, 22, at the Sky City centre in Auckland on Saturday evening.

She was also a talented artist, and in 2015 had one of her pieces exhibited in the London Mall Student exhibition.

Ms Millane's father David has flown out to New Zealand amid the investigation into her disappearance.

"Grace is a lovely, outgoing, fun-loving, family-oriented daughter", he said in his statement to the media.

She was due to spend another two weeks in the country.

The police officer said the man is not in custody but is a person of interest in the case.

Grace Millane graduated from the University of Lincoln in September with a Bachelor of Advertising and Marketing.

While she was travelling alone, Michael said she had made a lot of friends.

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"It is a really hard situation for the family at the moment", he said. "She's usually in daily contact with her mother, myself, her two brothers. and on social media".

He gave an emotional press conference in Auckland, saying: "Grace has been missing for seven days".

United Kingdom charity the Lucie Blackman Trust, which supports British victims overseas, had taken on the case for the family.

She was wearing a black dress and what was believed to be white Converse trainers.

The image was captured on Saturday night, about 7.15pm, in downtown Auckland near SkyCity, police said.

According to the BBC the silence from Millane is "completely out of character" and her family said they spoke to her "most days".

Her family became concerned when she did not respond to birthday messages on Sunday, New Zealand Herald reported. "They just want to know she's safe", he said.

She had been staying at a backpacker hostel and left some of her belongings there.

A missing persons report was filed on Wednesday and "initial investigations are underway", New Zealand Police told Yahoo7 in Australia.

Beard said it was understood Grace had a New Zealand and an English cellphone.

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

Police would not comment on her bank account or cellphone activity.