Grace Millane murder: Details of alleged killer revealed

Author
Anna Leask,
Section
National,
Publish Date
Monday, 10 December 2018, 9:20AM
Grace Millane was murdered just days after arriving in Auckland as part of a year long solo OE.
Grace Millane was murdered just days after arriving in Auckland as part of a year long solo OE.

New details about the man accused of murdering British backpacker Grace Millane can now be revealed.

READ MORE: Judge tells Grace Millane's family 'your grief must be desperate'

The Herald has viewed court documents that state who the man is, what he is alleged to have done and where he is from.

The man has been denied name suppression but has indicated he will appeal so suppression has been granted for 21 days.

But the Herald can reveal that the man is alleged to have murdered Grace between December 1 and 2.

His occupation is not listed.

Grace Millane was murdered just days after arriving in Auckland as part of a year long solo OE. Photograph supplied
Grace Millane was murdered just days after arriving in Auckland as part of a year long solo OE. Photograph supplied

He has appeared in courtroom two before Judge Evangelos Thomas.

Millane's body was found in a section of bush just 10m off Scenic Drive in West Auckland's Waitakere Ranges yesterday.

She was found a week after her 22nd birthday.

The Essex woman, who recently graduated from university, came to New Zealand as part of a year-long solo OE.

She arrived in Auckland just days before she was killed.

Millane was last seen on CCTV on Saturday, December 1 entering CityLife Hotel with a 26-year-old man.

Police searching the bush off Scenic Drive in the Waitakere Ranges for Grace Millane's body. New Zealand Herald Photograph by Doug Sherring
Police searching the bush off Scenic Drive in the Waitakere Ranges for Grace Millane's body. New Zealand Herald Photograph by Doug Sherring

That man has been charged with her murder.

Police have not confirmed how the pair met.

Detective Inspector Scott Beard yesterday released two photos of a 2016 red Toyota 
Corolla hatchback linked to Millane's death.

The car was hired from a central Auckland rental company just before lunchtime last Sunday and was later found in Taupo.

The investigation team were now calling on anyone who saw the vehicle in the West Auckland area between 6am and 9.30am last Monday, December 3, to contact them.

Beard, visibly emotional after delivering the news to Millane's family and then the media that a body had been found, said the focus of the investigation was now to piece together exactly what happened to the young woman.

"It is an unbearable time for the Millane family and our hearts go out to them," he said.

Beard said Millane's body was found as a result of "investigative work".

Detective Inspector Scott Beard as he walked to break the news to media that Grace Millane's body had been found. New Zealand Herald Photograph by Doug Sherring
Detective Inspector Scott Beard as he walked to break the news to media that Grace Millane's body had been found. New Zealand Herald Photograph by Doug Sherring

Yesterday a team of 18 police officers, including forensic experts, spent the morning gathering evidence in a patch of manuka and scrub off a layby not far from the Waitakere dam carpark.

Officers dressed in white overalls were seen exiting the bush carrying clear bags. Large tents were erected on the side of the road and there were numerous police cars, both marked and unmarked.

By 4pm they had found her body.

"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," said Beard.

Police are appealing for sightings of this rented car in relation to the murder of Grace Millane. Photograph supplied
Police are appealing for sightings of this rented car in relation to the murder of Grace Millane. Photograph supplied

Since news broke that Millane's body had been recovered, support for her family has been swelling around the world.

In New Zealand a number of vigils to honour Millane are being planned.

In Auckland a peace walk is also being organised for this Saturday, along Queen Street in 
the CBD.

The search for Grace

October-November 2018

Grace Millane embarks on a year-long solo OE, starting in South America at the end of October, before she arrives in New Zealand on November 20.

She travels around the upper North Island, including Bay of Islands and Cape Reinga.

Friday, November 30

Grace arrives in Auckland and checks into the Base Backpackers Hostel.

Saturday, December 1

Grace makes contact with her family - the last time they will hear from her after daily messages back and forth.

Grace is captured on CCTV leaving Andy's Burgers & Bar, on the first level of SkyCity, at 7.15pm.

Later, at 9.41pm, Grace is captured again on CCTV, entering the CityLife Hotel on Queen St with a man.

Sunday, December 2

Family become concerned after Grace doesn't respond to messages wishing her a happy 22nd birthday.

Wednesday, December 5

A missing person's report is filed with police.

Friday, December 7

Grace's father David Millane arrives in New Zealand.

Detective Inspector Scott Beard says police have "grave fears" for her safety.

Saturday, December 8

Just after 3pm, police take in to custody the man, 26, Grace was with at the hotel and find a "vehicle of interest".

At 5pm, Beard announces the investigation is now a homicide inquiry.

Sunday, December 9

A body believed to be Grace is found in the Waitakere Ranges.

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