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New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern fought back tears on Monday (December 10) in Wellington as she apologised on behalf of New Zealand to the family of Grace Millane for their daughter’s murder.
Ardern told reporters that the New Zealanders she had spoken to felt an “overwhelming sense of hurt and shame” that this crime happened in New Zealand.
A 26-year-old man charged with her murder made his first appearance in Auckland District court earlier in the day.
Grace Millane, who was travelling the world after finishing university, went missing on Dec. 1 in Auckland. On Saturday (December 8) police said that she was murdered and that they were questioning a man about the case, who was subsequently charged with her murder.
Her desperate family had made emotional appeals to help find her, and cops said the end of the search was an “unbearable time” for them.
Her dad, millionaire property developer David, 60, had flown to New Zealand earlier in the week, where he made an emotional appeal for help.
Fighting back tears at a press conference, he asked for anyone with information, “any detail, no matter how small”, to come forward.
Mr Millane, from Wickford, Essex, said: “Grace is a lovely, outgoing, fun-loving, family-orientated daughter. Grace has never been out of contact for this amount of time.
“She’s usually in daily contact with either her mother, myself, her two brothers or members of the family on social media. We have been extremely concerned for her welfare.
“We are all extremely upset and it is very difficult at this time to fully describe the range of emotions we are all going through.”
But tragically, police said a body, found near a beauty spot on the outskirts of Auckland, is “believed to be Grace” but it has not yet been formally identified.
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