Skip To Content

    Here's How People Are Remembering Murdered British Backpacker Grace Millane


    The body of murdered British backpacker Grace Millane has been formally identified and returned to her family as online tributes continue to flow for the 22-year-old.

    Hannah Peters / Getty Images

    Millane disappeared in Auckland on Dec. 1 but police ended their search for the Essex woman on Sunday after finding a body in bushland on the city's outskirts.

    She was on a year-long holiday and arrived in Auckland on Nov. 20.


    Millane didn't contact her family for her birthday last week and on Dec. 7 her father, English property developer David Millane, arrived in New Zealand where he appealed to the public for any information that might help find his daughter.

    On Tuesday Grace's father and uncle visited the place where his daughter's body was found and took part in a traditional Maori blessing ceremony alongside members of the New Zealand police force.

    Fiona Goodall / Getty Images

    Police search the area around where Grace Millane's body was found.

    The 26-year-old man charged with her murder appeared in court on Monday.


    "All of us hope that justice for Grace is fair and swift and ultimately brings [family] some peace," Judge Evangelos Thomas said at the hearing. "That will not be happening today. There will be no judgement today."

    The man, who did not apply for bail, was a "high-risk remand prisoner", the judge said.

    “Work continues to piece together exactly what happened to Grace, as we build a timeline of the circumstances,” Auckland detective inspector Scott Beard said on Wednesday.

    A candlelight vigil was held in Queenstown, on the South Island, for Millane on Tuesday night and more are planned around New Zealand on Wednesday night.

    People have left floral tributes at Auckland's Titirangi roundabout.

    Fiona Goodall / Getty Images

    People around the world are using the hashtag #HerLightOurLove to post pictures of sunrises, sunsets and scenery to remember Millane and offer condolences to her family.

    Those who travel to our country should be safe, I am so sorry you did not get to see a Coast sunset. My thoughts are forever with all those who knew and loved you. #HerLightOurLove #GraceMillane

    Many New Zealanders echoed their prime minister Jacinda Ardern, who apologised to Millane's family on behalf of a country in which she was "supposed to be safe".

    #HerLightOurLove Honestly don’t know what to say. I was hoping for a miracle but found this morning that wasn’t the case. I can’t imagine what Grace’s family are going through right now. Grace I am so sorry my country wasn’t safe for you, this is an absolute tragedy 💔

    So many amazing adventures you should have had in New Zealand. In our “great” country. We let you down Grace, and for that a million sorry’s will never be enough. 😔💔 New Zealand will forever keep you in our hearts and prayers 💕🕯🇳🇿#HerLightOurLove

    “Your daughter should have been safe here, and she wasn’t” So devastatingly sad that Grace Millane’s life came to such a unexpected end, in a country thought to be safe. Human’s can be disgusting. Here’s a photo of Wanaka you would have loved it here Grace #HerLightOurLove 🕯🕊

    Many of the tributes were from women who also loved to travel.

    From one girl who loves travelling to another. Our arms are around you and your family, Grace. We are deeply sorry. #HerLightOurLove

    My heart breaks for Grace. As a UK girl currently travelling around NZ too it saddens me that your adventure here and your chance to experience the world was snatched from you. I hope you’re at peace now and my love goes out to your family ❣️ #HerLightOurLove

    One woman tweeted that she would be wearing a pendant of Saint Christopher, patron saint of travellers, to a vigil for Millane on Wednesday night.

    Saint Christopher is the patron saint of travelers. I’m wearing my pendant to the vigil tonight as a small token to honor #GraceMillane. If you own one, join me in this small act 🖤 #HerLightOurLove

    Some of the tweets were from Millane's home in the United Kingdom.

    Near Norwich, UK. Normally I know what to say, but words fail me now. Know that we love and miss you Grace #HerLightOurLove

    The hockey team at the University of Lincoln, where Millane played before she graduated from the university in September, will play a game on Wednesday afternoon as a tribute to her.

    The club's president Samantha Ramsay described Millane as "strong, funny and artful".

    The man charged with Millane's murder, who cannot be named for legal reasons, will appear in the High Court on Jan. 23.

    Gina Rushton is a reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in Sydney.

    Contact Gina Rushton at

    Got a confidential tip? Submit it here