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Grace Millane funeral: Murdered backpacker's brother carries her coffin



Heartbroken brother of British backpacker Grace Millane who was murdered in New Zealand carries her coffin into funeral as family and friends prepare to say their last goodbyes

  • Backpacker Grace, 22, was on a round the world trip but went missing in Auckland on December 1 in NZ
  • Her body was eventually found on the outskirts of the city more than a week later, after a nationwide search
  • Loved ones will say goodbye at her funeral taking place this morning at Brentwood Cathedral, in Essex

By Joe Middleton For Mailonline

Published: 05:26 EST, 10 January 2019 | Updated: 07:18 EST, 10 January 2019

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The heartbroken brother of a British backpacker who was murdered in New Zealand is carrying her coffin into the funeral this morning, as friends and family prepare to say their last goodbyes. 

Grace Millane, 22, was in New Zealand as part of a round the world trip when she went missing from a hostel in Auckland on December 1.

Ms Millane's body was found by police more than a week later on the outskirts of the city after a nationwide search and international outcry over her disappearance.

Yesterday, brother Declan posted a heartbreaking photo of himself with his sibling, with a single heart, on Instagram. 

Her funeral is currently taking in her home county of Essex, and her coffin has been pictured being taken into Brentwood Cathedral, with her brother at the front.

The coffin is carried into Brentwood Cathedral by her brother Declan Millane (pictured front of the coffin) at the funeral of his sister Grace Millane
The coffin is carried into Brentwood Cathedral by her brother Declan Millane (pictured front of the coffin) at the funeral of his sister Grace Millane

The coffin is carried into Brentwood Cathedral by her brother Declan Millane (pictured front of the coffin) at the funeral of his sister Grace Millane

Family and friends will pay their respects to Grace Millane today, with her coffin carried into Brentwood Cathedral this morning (pictured) 
Family and friends will pay their respects to Grace Millane today, with her coffin carried into Brentwood Cathedral this morning (pictured) 

Family and friends will pay their respects to Grace Millane today, with her coffin carried into Brentwood Cathedral this morning (pictured) 

Mourners prepare to enter the funeral of murdered backpacker Grace Millane, in Brentwood, Essex, that is taking place today
Mourners prepare to enter the funeral of murdered backpacker Grace Millane, in Brentwood, Essex, that is taking place today

Mourners prepare to enter the funeral of murdered backpacker Grace Millane, in Brentwood, Essex, that is taking place today

A picture of Grace Millane surrounded by flowers in the hearse. A number of mourners are gathered today at the funeral taking place in Brentwood, in Essex, Ms Millane's home county
A picture of Grace Millane surrounded by flowers in the hearse. A number of mourners are gathered today at the funeral taking place in Brentwood, in Essex, Ms Millane's home county

A picture of Grace Millane surrounded by flowers in the hearse. A number of mourners are gathered today at the funeral taking place in Brentwood, in Essex, Ms Millane's home county

The family of murdered British backpacker Grace Millane (far right) have paid tribute to their 'beautiful daughter and sister'. From left to right: Father David Millan, brother Michael Millane, mother Gillian Millane, brother Declan Millane and Grace
The family of murdered British backpacker Grace Millane (far right) have paid tribute to their 'beautiful daughter and sister'. From left to right: Father David Millan, brother Michael Millane, mother Gillian Millane, brother Declan Millane and Grace

The family of murdered British backpacker Grace Millane (far right) have paid tribute to their 'beautiful daughter and sister'. From left to right: Father David Millan, brother Michael Millane, mother Gillian Millane, brother Declan Millane and Grace

A day before her funeral, her brother Declan Millane, posted a picture of him with his sister with a heart symbol on Instagram (pictured)
A day before her funeral, her brother Declan Millane, posted a picture of him with his sister with a heart symbol on Instagram (pictured)

A day before her funeral, her brother Declan Millane, posted a picture of him with his sister with a heart symbol on Instagram (pictured)

The 22-year-old, originally from Essex in south-east England, travelled to Auckland after visiting Peru and Machu Picchu
The 22-year-old, originally from Essex in south-east England, travelled to Auckland after visiting Peru and Machu Picchu

The 22-year-old, originally from Essex in south-east England, travelled to Auckland after visiting Peru and Machu Picchu

A 26-year-old New Zealand man, who cannot be named for legal reasons, has been charged with her murder. 

Ms Millane's family, who flew out to New Zealand to collect the body, previously paid tribute to the talented artist.

They said: 'Grace went off to travel the world in mid-October and arrived in New Zealand on the 20th November.

'By the amount of pictures and messages we received, she clearly loved this country, its people and the lifestyle.

'We all hope that what has happened to Grace will not deter even one person from venturing out into the world and discovering their own OE (overseas experience).'

Grace Millane's (pictured) family, who flew out to New Zealand to collect the body, previously paid tribute to the talented artist
Grace Millane's (pictured) family, who flew out to New Zealand to collect the body, previously paid tribute to the talented artist

Grace Millane's (pictured) family, who flew out to New Zealand to collect the body, previously paid tribute to the talented artist

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
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

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

Grace Millane (left) with her mother Gillian. The incident caused New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Arden to apologise to the family
Grace Millane (left) with her mother Gillian. The incident caused New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Arden to apologise to the family

Grace Millane (left) with her mother Gillian. The incident caused New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Arden to apologise to the family

Calling the alleged crime 'heinous', the family also paid tribute to investigating officers for completing a 'concise, stringent and thorough investigation'.

They added: 'We would like to thank the people of New Zealand for their outpouring of love, numerous messages, tributes and compassion.

'Grace was not born here and only managed to stay a few weeks, but you have taken her to your hearts and in some small way she will forever be a Kiwi.'

More than 1,000 people across New Zealand had previously turned out out for candlelight vigils held to commemorate the British tourist.

Declan Millane, (pictured) wrote out the lyrics to You Are My Sunshine in a heartfelt tribute to his sister in December last year
Declan Millane, (pictured) wrote out the lyrics to You Are My Sunshine in a heartfelt tribute to his sister in December last year

Declan Millane, (pictured) wrote out the lyrics to You Are My Sunshine in a heartfelt tribute to his sister in December last year

The 22-year-old backpacker's death has struck a deep chord in a country where many young people take gap years to travel and citizens gathered in Christchurch, Wellington and Auckland in December to pay their respects.

The incident caused New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern to apologise to her family on behalf of her country.

She said: 'From the Kiwis I have spoken to there is this overwhelming sense of hurt and shame that this has happened in our country, a place that prides itself on our hospitality ... especially to those who are visiting our shores,' she said.

'On behalf of New Zealand, I want to apologise to Grace's family. Your daughter should have been safe here and she wasn't and I'm sorry for that.'

From New Zealand, Ms Millane was intending to go to Fiji, then Australia before returning to Britain on June 26, 2019. 

She intended to go on another trip to the Far-East.

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