Police are charging a man with murdering a 22-year-old backpacker who went missing in New Zealand

Lucie Blackman Trust/Millane Family/Auckland PoliceA composite image shows a family photograph of Grace Millane, and a still from security footage showing her in Auckland, New Zealand, on the night she disappeared.
  • Grace Millane, 22, went missing in Auckland, New Zealand, on December 1.
  • Police in Auckland say they now believe that Millane is dead, and will charge a local man with her murder.
  • She was travelling the world after graduating from university in September.
  • Millane was last seen at a hotel with a man, who has not been named. It is not clear whether he is the same man in police custody.

Police in New Zealand say that a 22-year-old backpacker who went missing a week ago is dead, and that they will charge a 26-year-old man with her murder.

Grace Millane, from the town of Wickford in south-eastern England, was last seen in a hotel in the city of Auckland on Saturday December 1.

Police had been interviewing the unnamed 26-year-old about Millane’s disappearance, and said Saturday that they would charge him with her murder.

A search effort was launched after she was reported missing on December 5. But, a week after her disappearance, police say their evidence leads them to believe that she is dead.

A press release issued on Saturday said: “The 26-year-old who has been speaking with Police in relation to the disappearance of Grace Millane will be charged with her murder. He will remain in police custody until Monday morning when he will appear in the Auckland District Court.”

Millane was travelling the world after graduating from the University of Lincoln, according to the BBC.

A statement posted on Facebook by the Millane family described her as “a fun-loving, outgoing and family-orientated person.”

She had spent six weeks in South America with a group of friends, the BBC reported, and planned to spend two weeks alone in New Zealand, a popular destination for British backpackers.

She was reported missing on Wednesday December 5, which prompted an extensive investigation by police in Auckland:


According to the Essex Live local news website, Millane stopped responding to WhatsApp messages from her family on Saturday 1 December.

Police said she was seen the same day leaving an Auckland hotel with a “male companion.” It is not clear whether he is the same man police intend to charge.

Officers also issued security footage showing Millane at the Sky City casino hotel in Auckland at 7.15 p.m. on the night she disappeared.

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