Friday 18 October 2019

Family's heartfelt tribute as 'Grace is found'

Grace Millane’s brother posted an emotional tribute to his sister. Photo: Declan Millane/Instagram
Grace Millane’s brother posted an emotional tribute to his sister. Photo: Declan Millane/Instagram

Nick Perry

The brother of British backpacker Grace Millane has paid tribute after police found what they believe to be her body near a beauty spot on the outskirts of Auckland, New Zealand.

Detective Inspector Scott Beard, of Auckland City Police, said formal identification was yet to take place, although "based on the evidence we have gathered over the past few days we expect that this is Grace".

A 26-year-old man has been charged with the murder of the 22-year-old and is due to appear at Auckland District Court today.

Declan Millane shared pictures on social media of him and his sister and added the lyrics of 'You Are My Sunshine'.

Detectives said they had identified a "location of interest" after the investigation led them to a spot on Scenic Drive, a country road about 20km west of the city centre, on Saturday night.

Mr Beard said investigators had "located a body which we believe to be Grace" about 10 metres from the roadside.

"Obviously this brings the search for Grace to an end. It is an unbearable time for the Millane family and our hearts go out to them," he said.

The spot where police found the body is in the vicinity of the Waitakere Reservoir and dam, a beauty spot with hiking trails.

Mr Beard said investigators were analysing a red Toyota Corolla hatchback hire car as part of the probe.

The last confirmed sighting of Ms Millane was at 9.41pm on December 1, the day before her birthday, at the CityLife Hotel in central Auckland, when she was seen with a "male companion".

Irish Independent

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