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Backpacker's family 'devastated' as police say she was murdered

Backpacker's family 'devastated' as police say she was murdered

Police will charge a 26-year-old man with the murder of missing backpacker Grace Millane.

Millane, from Essex, was described as a "lovely, outgoing, fun-loving, family-orientated daughter" by her father, David Millane.

"Sadly, the evidence we have gathered to this point of the enquiry has established that this is a homicide", Auckland City Police's Detective Inspector Scott Beard said in a statement on Saturday afternoon.

A 26-year-old man is being quizzed by detectives after he was located by police in central Auckland on Saturday afternoon (early hours of Saturday in UK).

He added that Ms Millane's family were "devastated" by the development and said: "We still do not know where Grace is".

The last confirmed sighting of Millane was at the CityLife Hotel, in Queen St, at 9.41pm on Saturday.

Police confirmed the man being held was with Miss Millane on the Saturday evening and "went to a number of places before going to the CityLife Hotel", where she was last seen.

Grace Millane had been in New Zealand for about two weeks.

Grace, who turned 22 on Sunday, had arrived in New Zealand on November 20 as part of a round-the-world trip.

Searches have also been carried out at the backpackers' accommodation.

An emotional Beard said it had been a tough time for all involved in the investigation.

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"We don't know what's happened to the property of hers that has been missing", he said.

(AAP) Missing British backpacker Grace Millane has been murdered, police in New Zealand say.

A man is to be charged with the murder of British backpacker Grace Millane, police said.

The major police search and public campaign for information led to dozens of calls being made to a hotline.

Police have been conducting a scene examination at a unit in the hotel.

On Saturday police released images of a pink watch and a necklace belonging to her and asked for the public's help in finding them.

'Several of her belongings, including her passport, are missing and police believe it is likely Grace has these items with her'.

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.

Her father, David Millane, said they last had contact on the day she vanished. "Our thoughts are with her family at this terrible time".

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.

Anyone with information about the missing items has been advised to contact 0800 676 255.