1. Last month, Grace Millane arrived in New Zealand as part of a year-long trip. Yesterday, her body was found.
Millane was on the second leg of a year-long trip around the world after graduating university when she disappeared on December 1.
After visiting Peru, she arrived alone in New Zealand on November 20 and had been in touch with family and friends nearly daily until her disappearance.
The week-long search for Millane turned into a homicide investigation this weekend, with officers saying a scene examination at the CityLife Hotel and video footage had concluded she was no longer alive.
Officers on Sunday were combing an area of bush near a road in the western outskirts of Auckland – about 25km from where the 22-year-old tourist was last spotted entering a central city hotel with a 26-year-old man on December 1.
Shortly after 4pm on Sunday, police found a body they believe to be Millane in vegetation around 10m from the road.
Remains found at the scene had not been formally identified but were believed to be those of Millane, Detective Inspector Scott Beard told the media on Sunday afternoon.
“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 told reporters near the scene.
“The investigation will continue for some time yet. The focus now is to piece together exactly what happened to a young girl who came to New Zealand.”
A post-mortem is expected to be carried out on Monday.
“We will be pleased to be giving Grace back to her family,” Det Insp Beard said.
Police said a 26-year-old man seen with Ms Millane on the night of her disappearance had been charged with her murder and would appear in Auckland District Court on Monday.
Detectives have made an appeal for sightings of a red Toyota hatchback they say was rented in Auckland on December 2.
Her father, David Millane, arrived in NZ on Friday, and made an emotional public appeal for help in finding Grace, who he described as a “lovely, outgoing, fun-loving, family-orientated daughter”.