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Grace Millane: British backpacker missing in New Zealand

Grace Millane: British backpacker missing in New Zealand

  • 5 December 2018
Image copyright Millane Family
Image caption Grace Millane turned 22 on Sunday, but has not replied to her family's birthday messages

Police in New Zealand are searching for a British woman who went missing five days ago.

Backpacker Grace Millane, 22, from Essex, was last seen by her roommates at a hostel in Auckland on Saturday.

Her family, who said they spoke to her "most days", became concerned when she failed to reply to birthday messages on Sunday and said her silence was "completely out of character".

The Foreign Office said it was providing support to Auckland police.

Miss Millane's brother, Michael, said his sister - who graduated from the University of Lincoln in September - had previously travelled as part of an organised group through South America for six weeks.

However, she was travelling alone when she arrived in New Zealand about two weeks ago.

"It was what she wanted - she wanted to see the world," Mr Millane said.

Image copyright Millane Family

Miss Millane's family, from Wickford, near Basildon, reported her missing to New Zealand police, who are now investigating the disappearance.

"They are trawling through her social media posts and emails to see if there are any clues, but so far we have no news," Mr Millane said.

His sister last spoke to a family member on Thursday, and has not put anything on social media since.

Mr Millane said she had two mobile phones with her in New Zealand but calls go straight to voicemail.

He added she had not travelled alone before and it was "completely out of character for her not to have been in contact with us and her friends".

Image copyright Google
Image caption Miss Millane was staying at the Base Backpackers hostel in central Auckland

Not only did Miss Millane fail to respond to any messages on her 22nd birthday on Sunday, but she also did not send Mr Millane a message on his birthday on Tuesday.

"We are really, really worried and concerned about Grace. We just want her to get in contact," he said.

He said their father was flying out to New Zealand later.

The family has posted pleas on Facebook in the hope other travellers in New Zealand can help in the search.

A New Zealand Police spokeswoman said the force had received a missing persons report.

"She (Miss Millane) has not yet been located. Initial inquiries are under way," she said.

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office said: "We are in contact with New Zealand police and providing consular support after a British woman was reported missing in Auckland."