Wednesday, 12 December, 2018

British backpacker Grace Millane vanishes in New Zealand on gap year

Out of character: Grace Millane failed to reply to birthday messages Family ‘distraught’ as missing Brit backpacker CCTV image released by Ellie Cullen Published
Pablo Mccormick | 06 December, 2018, 11:33

Police are appealing for anyone who may have seen Grace on the night of Saturday 1 December or may have information on her whereabouts to contact Police on (09) 302 6970.

It is also working with the New Zealand Police to find Grace, he said.

He added: "Clearly this is a very stressful time for Grace's family and the longer she remains missing, the more our concern grows for her safety and wellbeing".

Before heading to New Zealand, she was in an organised group heading through South America for six weeks.

Mr Beard said various sightings have her wearing either a black top, blue jeans and red sneakers, or a black dress with white shoes.

Police have released a CCTV image of the last known sighting of her at 7.15pm on Saturday at entertainment complex Sky City which houses a casino, hotels, restaurants and a theatre and sits at the base of the city's Sky Tower.

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She has not returned to her hostel room in Auckland New Zealand, ' her older brother Michael Millane wrote on Facebook.

Mr Beard said police found some of Ms Millane's items at the backpackers she was staying at in the Auckland CBD but wouldn't divulge what the contents were.

She could not remember if the young woman had bags with her or not or whether she saw the woman standing by the road on Friday or Monday afternoon.

Her family in the United Kingdom raised the alarm on Monday and Detective Inspector Scott Beard said her disappearance was "out of character".

"I looked at the photo [of Millane] and I was quite adamant I had seen that girl", she said.

"She was in a very unusual place to stand, I would have thought a hitchhiker would have stopped on the left-hand side to get in the vehicle, she was on the other side".

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Family said "alarm bells rang" when she failed to get in touch with them after received birthday wishes.

However she was travelling alone when she came to New Zealand about two weeks ago.

The hostel said it was making "no comment" about the case.

Ms Millane had previously written on social media.

"We have a couple of phones from the backpackers but we believe she may have another one or two so we're keeping an open mind", he said.

Brother, Michael, told the BBC his sister graduated from the University of Lincoln in September and had planned to go travelling around the world.

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