The brother of backpacker Grace Millane has released a heartbreaking tribute after a body was found in New Zealand.

Her brother Declan Millane, wrote out the lyrics to You Are My Sunshine, as police confirmed a 26-year-old man has been charged with murder.

He said:  ‘You are my sunshine, my only sunshine. You make me happy when skies are grey.

‘You’ll never know, dear, how much I love you. Please don’t take my sunshine away.’

The body, thought to be that of Ms Millane, was found hidden in bushland, on the outskirts of Auckland today.

It came just hours after her mother Gillian, posted an image of them together on social media.

A 26-year-old New Zealand man has been charged with her murder and will remain anonymous until he appears at Auckland District Court on Monday.

Declan Millane, (pictured) wrote out the lyrics to You Are My Sunshine, as police confirmed a 26-year-old man has been charged with murder
Backpacker Grace Millane (pictured left) in a picture with her mother (pictured right) Gillian. She was travelling in New Zealand when she disappeared on December 1
Declan Millane, wrote out the lyrics to You Are My Sunshine, as police confirmed a 26-year-old man has been charged with murder

British backpacker Grace Millane (pictured), had been travelling New Zealand when she disappeared on December 1. Her body was found more than a week later, on Sunday morning
The scene where the body of British tourist Grace Millane has been found by New Zealand police in the Waitakere Ranges
Since early this morning a scene examination has been underway in a section of bush on Scenic Drive in the Waitakere Ranges. Police need to hear from anyone who saw this Toyota Corolla hatchback rental car
Pictured: Police have been standing guard on a section of Scenic Drive in the Waitakere Ranges
A body was found about 10m from the road in bushland, and police believe it is Ms Millane’s body

Police had earlier declared the portion of Scenic Drive of interest in their investigation into the disappearance of Ms Millane, who went missing on December 1, and the area has been under police guard since Sunday morning.

The body was found about 10 metres from the side of the road, hidden in bushland, and is believed to have been taken there in a rental car that was recently found nearly 300 kilometres (186 miles) away in Taupo.

Detectives said they had identified a ‘location of interest’ after the investigation led them to a spot on Scenic Drive, a country road around 12 miles west of the city centre, on Saturday night.

Earlier on Sunday, officers seized a ‘vehicle of interest’, and were trying to retrace the vehicle’s movements since Ms Millane’s disappearance last Saturday.

The young traveller, from Essex, England, was last seen at the CityLife hotel in Auckland with the man.

Detective Inspector Scott Beard said he felt deeply for the young woman’s family, but was glad to be able to at least return her to her relatives. 

 Det Insp Beard said investigators had ‘located a body which we believe to be Grace’.

‘The formal identification process will now take place, however based on the evidence we have gathered over the past few days we expect that this is Grace,’ he said at a press conference near the scene.

‘Obviously this brings the search for Grace to an end. It is an unbearable time for the Millane family and our hearts go out to them.’

Ms Millane’s body was found in bushes ‘around 10 metres’ from the road, Det Insp Beard said.

Formal identification and a post-mortem will take place on Monday.

The detective revealed that investigators are analysing a hire car as part of the probe.

The red Toyota Corolla hatchback was hired from a central Auckland rental firm just before lunchtime on Sunday.

The detective appealed for anyone who saw the car in the west Auckland area between 6.30am and 9.30am on Monday to come forward.

At a press conference at 5pm local time on Saturday, Detective Inspector Scott Beard told reporters Ms Millane’s family had been informed of the alleged killer’s arrest.

He said: ‘Just after 3pm this afternoon (Saturday) a 26-year-old man was located at a central Auckland address by police.

‘He was brought back to the Auckland Central Police Station and is currently speaking to us in relation to the murder of Grace Millane.’

Det Insp Beard said the arrest had confirmed Ms Millane’s disappearance was a homicide, but said he and his team were ‘determined to find her and return her to her family’.

Earlier on Saturday police released images of her necklace and watch and urged anyone who recognised the items to come forward.

They said several of Ms Millane’s possessions, including her passport, were missing.

Despite a major police search and public campaign for information, no further sightings of the backpacker were confirmed.

In a tearful press conference on Friday, Ms Millane’s millionaire father, who travelled to Auckland to help find his beloved daughter, said the ‘fun-loving’ graduate’s family were ‘extremely concerned’ for her welfare.


Police released this CCTV image of Grace Millane, 22, leaving Sky City, in Auckland’s CBD, at around 7.15pm on December 1

Ms Millane, who turned 22 on December 2, was last seen with a ‘male companion’at CityLife Hotel, in Auckland, on December 1.

Searches have also been carried out at the backpackers’ accommodation.

Det Insp Beard said: ‘Detectives have assessed Grace’s belongings that were found at the backpackers where she was staying.

‘Several of her belongings, including her passport, are missing and police believe it is likely Grace has these items with her.’

Ms Millane, from Essex, graduated from university in September and had embarked on a year-long worldwide trip.

After visiting Peru she arrived in New Zealand on November 20 and had been ‘bombarding’ her family with photos as she kept in near-daily contact with her parents and brothers via social media.

Her father, David Millane, said they last had contact on the day she vanished.

Police said they had received dozens of calls to a hotline and more than 25 staff were working on the case, trawling through hours of CCTV footage to trace her movements.

Detective Inspector Scott Beard speaks at the scene where the body of British tourist Grace Millane has been found by New Zealand police in the Waitakere Ranges
The scene where the body of British tourist Grace Millane has been found by New Zealand police in the Waitakere Ranges

David Millane, Grace’s property developer father, broke down in tears as he begged for help finding his backpacker daughter after she vanished in New Zealand

A CCTV image shows she was at Sky City, a hotel a short distance away, at 7.15pm on the same night – but her whereabouts between those two sightings is unknown.

Her father, a 60-year-old property developer, fought back tears as he urged anyone who has any information about his ‘outgoing, fun-loving’ daughter to come forward.

‘We last had contact with her on Saturday the 1st of December and as a family we’ve been extremely concerned for her welfare,’ said Mr Millane, who arrived in New Zealand on Friday morning.

‘Grace is a lovely, outgoing, fun-loving and family orientated daughter.’

Police earlier released a photo of a red 2016 Toyota Corolla hatchback (pictured), which was hired from a central Auckland rental car company
Mr Millane wept as he made an emotional statement urging anyone who has any information about his ‘outgoing, fun-loving’ daughter to come forward

Her brother Declan Millane made an emotional plea to find his sister in a video widely shared on social media
The 22-year-old, originally from Essex in south-east England, travelled to Auckland three weeks ago

He tearfully explained that his daughter has never been out of contact with her family for such a long period of time, usually contacting them on social media.

‘She arrived here on the 20th of November and has been bombarding us with numerous photographs and messages of her adventures,’ Mr Millane said.

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

‘Finally I would like to take this opportunity to appeal to anybody who has seen, spoken to or come into contact with Grace over the last few days to come forward with any detail no matter how small and contact the investigation team.’

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.’

The family said it was ‘completely out of character’ for Ms Millane to go silent as they would speak with her most days
The 22-year-old tourist had reportedly been staying at Base Backpackers on Queen Street in the heart of Auckland
A missing persons report was filed on December 5 (pictured)
Ms Millane (pictured with her brothers) graduated from the University of Lincoln with a Bachelor of Advertising and Marketing in September


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