New Zealand police have announced that a body found in the outskirts of Auckland is believed to be that of missing UK backpacker, Grace Millane.
While the body has yet to be formally identified, Detective Inspector Scott Beard said the body was “believed to be Grace” based on the evidence they have gathered over the past few days.
During a press call, Detective Beard revealed that the body was found “about 10 metres” off Scenic Drive, a countryside road outside the city.
The heartbreaking news comes after a 26-year-old man – who was seen with Grace on the night she went missing – was charged with her murder. He is scheduled to appear in court on Monday.
22-year-old Grace had been travelling alone in New Zealand for two weeks, following a six-week group trip through South America. She had been missing since 1 December – the day before her birthday – and alarm bells were first raised when she failed to respond to happy birthday messages from her family on 2 December.
At a press conference earlier in the week, Grace’s Father, David Millane explained that his daughter had been “bombarding us with numerous photographs and messages of her adventures,” before her disappearance.
Announcing that this development “brings the search for Grace to an end”, Detective Beard described this as an “unbearable time for the Millane family”. He concluded that the investigation will continue, to piece together exactly what happened.
Our thoughts and prayers go out to Grace’s family and friends.