British backpacker Grace Millane last seen at Auckland hotel with 'male companion'

A British backpacker who has gone missing in New Zealand was last seen at a hotel with a “male companion”.

Auckland City Police said the last known sighting of Grace Millane, who has not been heard from since December 1, was at the Citylife Hotel at 9.41pm that night with a male companion.

Grace, who turned 22 on Sunday, had arrived in Auckland less than two weeks earlier as part of a round-the-world trip.

Her father David Millane made an emotional appeal for help to find his “outgoing, fun-loving” daughter as police said they hold “grave fears” for her safety.

Detective Inspector Scott Beard, of Auckland City Police, said: “We now have the last known sighting of Grace at 9.41pm at the Citylife Hotel, on Saturday 1 December with a male companion. Police have identified this man and he has been spoken to.”

<em>Grave fears – Police said they hold grave fears for Grace Millane’s safety (Picture: PA)</em>
Grave fears – Police said they hold grave fears for Grace Millane’s safety (Picture: PA)

Mr Beard said officers had also identified an apartment at the city centre hotel as a location of interest.

He added: “It has now been six days since Grace was last seen. At this point, we hold grave fears for her safety.” He added that they “still have no evidence of foul play”.

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Mr Millane spoke to reporters following his arrival in New Zealand on Friday morning, saying it was unusual for his daughter to be out of contact.

He tearfully told a press conference: “Grace is a lovely, outgoing, fun-loving, family-orientated daughter. She’s usually in daily contact with either her mother, myself, her two brothers or members of the family on social media.”

<em>Missing – Grace went missing less than two weeks after arriving in New Zealand (Picture: PA)</em>
Missing – Grace went missing less than two weeks after arriving in New Zealand (Picture: PA)

He added: “She… has been bombarding us with numerous photographs and messages of her adventures.

“We are all extremely upset and it’s very difficult at this time to fully describe the range of emotions we are going through.”

Ms Millane arrived in New Zealand as part of her year-long travels on November 20, having previously visited Peru.

Police said more than 25 staff were working on the case and were trawling through hours of CCTV footage to trace her movements.

A spokesman for the Foreign Office said: “We are providing consular support to the family in the UK, and working with the New Zealand Police in relation to reports of a missing British national in New Zealand.”

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