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Grace Millane: Shovel found in backpacker murder investigation

Grace Millane went missing from a hostel in Auckland on December 1 Credit: Auckland City Police.

Police investigating the murder of backpacker Grace Millane in New Zealand have found a shovel they had been hunting for.

The 22-year-old, from Essex, went missing from a hostel in Auckland on December 1. Her body was found in the Waitakere Ranges on Sunday.

A 26-year-old man, who cannot be named, has been charged with murder and appeared in an Auckland court on Monday.

Police had appealed for help to find a shovel that could be connected to the case. It has now been found in the "central west Auckland area".

"A shovel that was the subject of a Police appeal in relation to the Grace Millane investigation has been located.

"The item was recovered by detectives as a result of the continued examination of CCTV footage.

"It was located and seized in the central west Auckland area."

– Det Insp Scott Beard, Auckland City Police

Officers said on Wednesday morning that identification of the body had taken place and Ms Millane’s family were “in the process of organising to take her home”.