9 Dec 2018

Police have found body in hunt for missing tourist Grace Millane

8:34 pm on 9 December 2018

Police searching for missing English backpacker Grace Millane have found a body in Waitakere in West Auckland.

Grace Millane

Grace Millane Photo: Supplied.

Detective Inspector Scott Beard said the body was found in bush off Scenic Drive.

"The formal identification process will now take place, however based on the evidence we have gathered over the past few days, we expect that this is Grace," Mr Beard said.

The family was devastated, but there was some relief that Ms Millane's body would be returned to them, Mr Beard said.

Support has been given to Ms Millane's father, David Millane, who travelled to New Zealand following his daughter's disappearance and remains in the country with his brother, who is also from England.

No caption

Detective Inspector Scott Beard at the Waitakere bush scene today. Photo: RNZ

"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," Mr Beard said.

"Any parent in this situation will struggle. I feel for him (David Millane). I have a daughter in her 20s.

"We are putting a lot of support around him."

The investigation would continue for some time yet, Mr Beard said.

"The focus now is to piece together exactly what happened to a young girl who came to New Zealand on her OE," he said.

Police are appealing for sightings of a 2016 red Toyota Corolla that was hired from a central Auckland rental car company.

"We need to hear from anybody who saw this car last Monday morning, the third of December, between 6am and 9.30am in the West Auckland area.

"Anyone who saw this vehicle is asked to call us on 0800 676 255."

No caption

The car police want information about in relation to the death of Grace Millane. Photo: Supplied

Ms Millane, who went missing on the eve of her 22nd birthday, was last seen last Saturday night going into CityLife Hotel with a man.

Last night, police announced that a 26-year-old man had been charged with her murder.

"The evidence we have located so far, our scene examination, some of the CCTV footage we have, and our investigation has determined that Grace is no longer alive and this is a murder investigation," Mr Beard said.

The 26-year-old man will remain in police custody until Monday morning, when he will appear in the Auckland District Court.

The man was with Ms Millane at several places, including Sky City, before going to CityLife Hotel with her.

A map of the area where police are searching for Grace Millane.

A map of the area police searched for Grace Millane. Photo: Google Maps