Grace Millane: Police identify 'location of interest' in search for body

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Grace Millane disappeared on December 1.

Auckland city police Det Insp Scott Beard said a scene examination was under way at a bush area on Scenic Drive, a countryside road on the city's outskirts.

The 22-year-old, from Essex in the United Kingdom, went missing on December 1 in the New Zealand city the day before her birthday.

Detective Inspector Scott Beard, of Auckland City Police, said formal identification was yet to take place, although "based on the evidence we have gathered over the past few days we expect that this is Grace".

Her father David, who reported his daughter as missing, arrived in New Zealand on Friday and issued an emotional appeal for information relating to the disappearance of his "fun-loving, outgoing and family-orientated" daughter.

Ms Millane is known to have used the Tinder dating app while she was in New Zealand. "It is an unbearable time for the Millane family and our hearts go out to them".

"Obviously, this brings the search for Grace to an end", Beard said.

AUCKLAND NEW ZEALAND- DECEMBER 10 Tributes to Grace Millane are left at the roundabout in Titirangi at the start of Scenic Drive
Tributes to Ms Millane are left at the roundabout in Titirangi at the start of Scenic Drive

The detective appealed for anyone who saw the auto in the west Auckland area between 6.30am and 9.30am on Monday to come forward.

Police said a 26-year-old man was charged with murder after being questioned for several hours on Saturday and would appear in court on Monday.

"I can now advise that a short time ago, we located a body which we believe to be Grace", he said.

The announcement by police that Miss Millane was "no longer alive" followed a review of CCTV footage, the forensic examination of a hotel where she was last seen, and the discovery of a vehicle.

Before she vanished, Millane had been staying at a backpacker hostel in Auckland, and she left some of her belongings there.

The graduate's birthday was on Sunday but she did not contact her family.

A local woman, who Newstalk ZB agreed not to name, says she's seen a lot of police activity in the area this morning.

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