A WOMAN claims to have spotted a mysteriously backpacked British traveler in New Zealand standing by a 14-mile road from where she had last been seen.
Grace Millane's family, from Essex, is trying desperately to find the 22-year-old, after she has not returned to her room in a Auckland hostel six days ago.
Grace went to the city of North Island two weeks ago, but rang the alarm bell when she failed to respond to birthday greetings at the start of this week.
The local woman refused to be named but told the NZ Herald she had seen a young woman near the Manukau Southern Highway – about 14 miles from where Grace had been last seen.
She said, "Where was she, she was really weird and she was alone, there was no one, just a girl alone.
"Honestly I can say 100% that I saw a girl, absolutely so close to her description that it's not funny, and there was no way to stop me.
"It was a very unusual place to stay, I would have thought that a hitchhiker would stop on the left side to get in the car, was on the other side.
"I looked at the picture (by Grace) and I was quite adamant that I had seen that girl: she had a raincoat … she had a bigger jacket, not a fashion like that."
It arrives when local cops publish a CCTV image of the last known sight of Grace in the Sky City entertainment complex in Auckland.
Investigative inspector Scott Beard of Auckland City Police said he was taken at 7.15pm on Saturday.
"The police investigation today has focused on its movements and activities in Auckland since it arrived in New Zealand.
"Much of the attention has been devoted to filming CCTV throughout Auckland." She stayed at a backpacker in the CBD of Auckland and we are asking anyone who has been in touch with her, has seen her, or knows her. , contact the police.
"Our last sighting was confirmed on Saturday, December 1st at about 19:00, near Sky City, and at the time he wore a black suit with white Converse shoes."
Grace's dad, the millionaire developer David Millane, was also flying to New Zealand to help with the research.
DI Beard added: "We are dealing with his family, they are obviously from the other side of the world and they are upset so we have to give them support and as much information as possible about our investigation.
"The longer this is all the more troubling, we currently have no proof of improper play but we are keeping an open mind".
He said he did not know if she'd returned to her hostel later that night.
"Some of his things were there, I do not have the freedom to enter what was or was not, because we do not know what's missing, if something is missing.
"We talked to a lot of people about the adventurers because he was in a room where there were at least four people.
"It is important that people think they have seen Grace contacting us, many of these will be unconfirmed sightings but it is important that we know why they could fit into a puzzle and this will be a piece of the puzzle."
Today the brothers of Grace, Michael and Declan, and their mother Gillian, have refused to comment on the current research.
However, the CEO of the Lucie Blackman Trust told The Sun Online that he was "very impressed" with the resources that the Auckland city police were hunting.
He added: "At the moment there is no theory of work and I think the police are keeping an open mind.There is no evidence of any wrongdoing in progress, in the last CCTV image it seems quite happy and happy.
"He does not seem to be very drunk, nobody knows until they find the next piece of CCTV where he will go.
"At the moment we have no way of guessing."
Yesterday his brother Michael told The Sun Online: "Thursday was the last time we spoke with Gracie, we talk daily and we are still attracted to the information".
He also published a public appeal on Facebook, imploring those who read him to share it among the community groups.
She wrote: "She has not returned to her hostel room in Auckland, New Zealand, and family members have not been in touch since Saturday, December 1st.
"The Embassy has been contacted. Please share and contact if you have information related to your position."
Meanwhile, Kish Raval, the director of the post office near Grace's home, paid homage to the "beautiful" girl who visited the shop from time to time.
Mrs. Raval said: "Grace is a beautiful and beautiful girl, I have known her since she visited the shop, she has always been a very sparkling person when she arrived and she had a lot of common sense.
"She went to the university, so I do not remember the last time I saw her.
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"I also know his family: they are some of our customers and you know them, they are simply adorable and a normal family.
"It's really sad to hear what happened and we all hope that it has been found safe and sound, we hope they can find it".
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