New Zealand police have found a body, believed to be Grace Millane, a 22-year old British graduate, who had been missing for almost a week.
Grace was last seen alive in Auckland on Saturday the 1st of December, reported missing on Wednesday, and the search for her was called off on Sunday afternoon after a body was found.
Detective Inspector Scott Beard said a formal identification was yet to take place, but he believed the body, located in a bushy area about 10 metres from a road in Waitakere Ranges, on the western outskirts of Auckland was Millane’s.
A body believed to be that of a missing British backpacker was discovered near Auckland, New Zealand https://t.co/rirtlG2iYH
— The New York Times (@nytimes) December 9, 2018
“Obviously, this brings the search for Grace to an end,” Inspector Beard said. “It is an unbearable time for the Millane family and our hearts go out to them.”
A 26-year old man who was with Grace when she was last seen alive has been arrested and charged with murder.
Grace had graduated from the University of Lincoln in September and was on a gap year travelling around-the-world. She had arrived in New Zealand from Peru on the 20th of November.
Her father had travelled from the UK to New Zealand last week and made an emotional public appeal to help find his “lovely, outgoing, fun- loving, family-orientated daughter”.
Father of missing British backpacker Grace Millane has arrived in New Zealand, where he made an emotional plea for help finding his 'lovely, family-oriented' daughter https://t.co/syb1KvB8T7 pic.twitter.com/ISIlfM2oKJ
— ITV News (@itvnews) December 7, 2018
Grace Millane’s death is a tragedy. It is brutal, heartbreaking and senseless. A fate no person deserves.
Her family and friends are left to forever grieve for her potential, for her dreams, for her life. For what could – and should – have been.
What her family and friends, and indeed Grace herself, do not need is to answer or justify her choices.
Since Grace was reported missing social media has been filled with variations of this question: Why she was travelling alone?
Why was she going out? Why was she meeting up with a man?
Just a few “hot takes” from Twitter about Grace Millane over the past few days.
I am thankful the majority of people are expressing love and support for the family, and anger at the actual perpetrator of the crime. pic.twitter.com/iQfXAhpDdm
— Jennifer Duke 🌈 (@JennieDuke) December 8, 2018
They are questions that do not deserve a response but the fact they are posed at all does. Just last week it was confirmed that the home is the most dangerous place in the world for women.
Their own homes. Not dark alleys. Not parks after dark. Not taxis. Or nightclubs. A woman is most at risk in her own home.
And yet when something awful happens, like a 22 year old woman being robbed of her life, people still automatically resort to questioning that woman’s choices.
Before they ask, why would a man kill a 22 year old woman, they ask, why was she backpacking alone? Was she drinking? Had she used a dating app? Why was she out late?
Backpacking did not kill Grace Millane. Nor did travelling alone, Tinder, alcohol or going out late.
A person killed Grace Millane and at this stage the person most likely is the 26 year old man who is being held in custody.
It is his choices that need scrutinising and judging a thousand times over. What drove him to kill a woman? Why was he violent? Has he been violent before? Why?
He needs to be under the microscope: not Grace Millane.
She was travelling the world and she was perfectly entitled to do that without meeting murderous violence.
In 2018 that anyone would even question a woman’s decision to enjoy the liberty of freedom is almost as tragic as the death of a young woman who was out to explore the world.
Grace Millane did not deserve to be killed and she certainly does not deserve to be held responsible for the criminal and savage predilections of a man.
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