Heartbroken family of British backpacker Grace Millane reveal 'two weeks of hell' after daughter was murdered in New Zealand

Heartbroken family of British backpacker Grace Millane reveal 'two weeks of hell' after daughter was murdered in New Zealand

December 17, 2018

They also paid tribute to the "beautiful" backpacker and revealed how she had a passion for travelling and was recently planning a return trip to the Far East.

And as dad David returned back home to the UK with his daughter's body, the rest of Grace's family paid tribute to the "beautiful daughter and sister".

Brothers, Michael, 29, and Declan, 26, and mother, Gillian, said she had "a passion to see the world" and had more travel plans up her sleeve.

"We all fly the nest," said Michael. Her death "should not deter any man or woman" from following their dreams, he added.

After Grace's body was discovered a 26-year-old man – who cannot be named for legal reasons- was charged with her murder.

This weekend it emerged that Grace's mother, Gillian, 57, had been unable to travel abroad with her husband because she was undergoing breast cancer treatment.

Michael said his father, who owns a construction company, had endured "two weeks of hell"since the tragedy.

Grace graduated with a marketing degree from the University of Lincoln in September and went travelling on October 26.

The outgoing former student spent six weeks in South America as part of a gap year.

The 22-year-old from Billericay, Essex, arrived in New Zealand alone on November 19 and was last seen on Saturday, December 1.

Timeline of British backpacker Grace Millane murder investigation

November 20 – Grace arrives in New Zealand after travelling in Peru

December 1 – She is seen at the CityLife Hotel, in Auckland, with a 'male companion'

December 2 – Her family hear nothing from her on her 22nd birthday. On the same day a red Toyota Corolla hatchback is rented from a car hire firm

December 5 – A missing persons report is filed by her worried family

December 6 – Police release an image of Grace leaving the hostel on the evening of December 1

December 7 – Her dad David Millane makes an emotional plea for help as police reveal they have spoken to the male companion

December 8 – A 26-year-old man is taken into custody

December 9 – Police find a body they believe to be Grace

December 10 – A 26-year-old man appears in court charged with her murder

Grace travelled to the North Island city in late November but alarms bells rang when she failed to respond to birthday well-wishes on her 22nd birthday on December 2.

Grace had been staying at the £10 -a-night Base Backpackers on Queen Street, a popular location for travellers in the centre of the city.

Her family was left baffled after they lost contact with Grace, describing her silence as "completely out of character".

Plans for another long-distance trip had already taken root, with Asia and the Far East in her sights.

"She had decided, 'Once I've done this bit, I want to go to the other side'," said Michael, who works with his younger brother for the family firm.

"She had a passion to see the world before she settled into a job. Her mind was set that she wanted to do this thing."

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