The father of a 22-year-old British tourist who has been missing in New Zealand for six days has made a tearful plea for help in the case, but police say they now hold “grave fears” for her safety.
- Police have not found evidence of foul play
- More than 25 officers are working on the case
- A man described as a person of interest in the case is not in police custody
Grace Millane was last seen on Saturday evening (local time) in central Auckland.
She had been staying at a backpacker hostel and left some of her belongings there.
Her birthday was on Sunday but she did not contact her family.
Detective Inspector Scott Beard said police have now confirmed that Ms Millane entered the CityLife hotel with a male companion at about 9:40pm on Saturday evening.
Detective Beard said the man is a person of interest in the case, and they are conducting a scene examination at a unit in the hotel.
David Millane spoke to media on Friday after arriving in New Zealand.
“Grace is a lovely, outgoing, fun-loving, family-oriented daughter,” he said.
“Grace has never been out of contact for this amount of time.
“She’s usually in daily contact with either her mother, myself, her two brothers, or members of the family on social media.”
Mr Millane said his daughter was on a yearlong trip abroad that began in Peru.
“She arrived here on November 20, and has been bombarding us with numerous photographs and messages of her adventures,” Mr Millane said.
“We are all extremely upset, and it’s very difficult at this time to fully describe the range of emotions we are going through,” he added.
Mr Millane urged anybody who had seen or spoken to his daughter over the past week to contact police.
Detective Beard said they have yet to find any evidence of foul play, and that the man they have spoken with was not in police custody.
He said they were waiting for the British banks to update them on when Ms Millane’s credit cards were last used.
Detective Beard said police have more than 25 staff working on the case and have been reviewing hours of surveillance camera footage from around the city, which has proved crucial in tracking Ms Millane’s movements.
“It has now been six days since Grace was last seen,” Detective Beard said.
“At this point, we hold grave fears for her safety.”
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