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Grace Millane murder a 'terrible tragedy'

Newstalk ZB,
Publish Date
Monday, 10 December 2018, 8:57a.m.
Grace Millane. Photo / Supplied

A former police investigator said the murder of British tourist Grace Millane is shocking and a "terrible tragedy" for New Zealand. 

A body believed to be the missing British tourist was been found by police in the Waitakere Ranges yesterday. 

Police are now seeking sightings of the 2016 red Toyota Corolla hatchback that was hired from a central Auckland rental company and was possibly in the West Auckland area between 6am and 9am on Monday.

Police want to trace the movements of the car pictured. Photo / Supplied

Police want to trace the movements of the car pictured. Photo / Supplied

Millane was last seen on CCTV on Saturday December 1 entering CityLife Hotel with a 26-year-old man. That man is now in police custody and due to appear in court today charged with murder.

Former police investigator, Lance Burdett, told Mike Hosking this case has hit everyone hard.

"When you have kids yourself, as a police officer your first thought it your family. It is a terrible tragedy. Putting that aside there's professional pride in New Zealand Police and we have got a pretty good track record when it comes to these sorts of things."

He said the CCTV footage was critical to solving this case.

"The more evidence you have the greater the chance of a conviction. It [CCTV] is a massive advantage. I don't think it can be overstated."

"Years ago I was working a homicide and we ended up capturing the offenders on CCTV footage from shops when they were running past. Most shops in the city have cameras."

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.

Burdett said there is still a huge amount of work to be done. 

"Every murder, every homicide is treated the same. It is done with meticulous detail. You're not just trying to find evidence that proves it, you're also trying to find evidence that disproves it to cover all your basis and keep an open mind, just in case."

He said because this is an international case which will place more pressure on the officers working it. 

"It would

The hunt 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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