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Father of missing British backpacker makes emotional plea for help finding 'lovely, family-oriented' daughter

The father of a British backpacker missing in New Zealand has made an emotional plea for help in finding his "lovely, outgoing" daughter.

David Millane arrived in New Zealand on Friday morning, after the family raised the alert earlier in the week, having not heard from Grace since Saturday (December 1) - which he said was unusual.

Fighting back tears, he told a press conference: "Grace is a lovely, outgoing, fun-loving, family-orientated daughter.

"She's usually in daily contact with either her mother, myself, her two brothers or members of the family on social media."

The family became concerned when they didn't hear from Grace on Sunday - her 22nd birthday.

He added: "She… has been bombarding us with numerous photographs and messages of her adventures.

"We are all extremely upset and it's very difficult at this time to fully describe the range of emotions we are going through."

Following Mr Millane's appeal, the 22-year-old's family released a statement

The family of Grace Millane have today released the following statement calling for anyone with information on her disappearance to come forward.

“Grace is a fun loving, outgoing and family-orientated person," the Millane family said.

"Grace has never been out of contact with her family or friends for this length of time.

"As a family, this is an extremely difficult and emotional time for us all.

"We would like to thank the Auckland police, who have been outstanding in their support and efforts in helping to find Grace.

"We would like to ask that if anyone has any information on the whereabouts of Grace, or may have seen her over the last week, then please contact the Auckland Investigation team on 0800 676 255.

"Alternatively, please call the Lucie Blackman Trust on 44 (0) 1983 718802.

"We are staying very positive in the search for our Grace and we all hope she returns home soon to her family.”

Grace had arrived in Auckland less than two weeks earlier as part of a round-the-world trip which began in Peru.

Police said the last known sighting of her was at 9.41pm on Saturday at the Citylife Hotel in the city, with a male companion.

Police released this CCTV image from the night Grace disappeared.

Det Insp Scott Beard, of Auckland City Police, said: "Police have identified this man and he has been spoken to."

Mr Beard said officers had also identified an apartment at the city centre hotel as a location of interest.

"It has now been six days since Grace was last seen," he added. "At this point, we hold grave fears for her safety."

He added that they "still have no evidence of foul play".

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Ms Millane, reported to be from Essex, arrived in New Zealand as part of her year-long travels on November 20, having previously visited Peru.

Police said more than 25 staff were working on the case and were trawling through hours of CCTV footage to trace her movements.

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."