Man to be charged with the murder of British backpacker Grace Millane

Grace Millane

A week of fading hopes for British backpacker Grace Millane has come to a devastating end with police saying they believe she has been murdered - although no body has been found.

Today, Detective Inspector Scott Beard said that man - named as a person of interest yesterday - has been taken to Auckland Central police station and was speaking to investigators "in relation to the murder of Grace Millane".

Grace Millane, 22, from Essex in the United Kingdom, was last seen in central Auckland on December 1 and was reported missing on Wednesday.

Ms Millane, 22, from Essex, England, was last seen at an Auckland hotel almost a week ago.

Earlier searches of Millane's accommodation at a backpackers' hostel found several items, including her passport, were missing.

"The issue here is Grace is still missing and we want to find her".

"We know that he was with her on the Saturday evening and went to a number of places before going to the Citylife Hotel", he told reporters.

Her birthday was on Sunday but she didn't contact her family.

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

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

Tonight's statement said the Millane family have requested privacy at this time and will not be making any further statements at this stage.

Meanwhile, the scene examination at the Citylife hotel is continuing as detectives review hundreds of hours of CCTV footage.

Police want the public to help find this necklace belonging to backpacker Grace Millane.

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.

Beard said he had no evidence to suggest Millane knew the man before Saturday night but said he would not speculate on how they met.

"Everyone who is a parent out there will understand and appreciate what the family is going through".

He tearfully explained that his daughter has never been out of contact with her family for such a long period of time, usually contacting them on social media.

"At this point our enquiries have not led us to any further confirmed sightings of Grace, and the last known sighting is of her entering the Citylife Hotel", he said.

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