British tourist met alleged killer on Tinder dating app
David and Gillian Millane, parents of murdered British tourist backpacker Grace Millane, arrived today, Wednesday, November 6, 2019, at the Auckland High Court in New Zealand for the murder trial of a man accused of killing their daughter. The trial is expected to take up to five weeks.
Prosecutors say Grace Millane met her alleged killer on the dating app Tinder, and they appeared to be enjoying themselves as they visited several places before going back to his downtown Auckland apartment. The prosecutors further stated that after Grace was killed, the alleged killer went back to Tinder to set up another date.
Millane’s body was found stuffed in a suitcase in a forested area in the Waitakere Ranges near Auckland. She was found a week after she disappeared last December on the eve of her 22nd birthday.
Who is the killer?
The name of the accused killer has not been revealed by court order. He has pled not guilty. His defense lawyers said Grace died accidentally as a result of a consensual sex act that went wrong. They said the man restricted her breathing by applying pressure to her neck and that Grace had consented.
Crown prosecutor Robin McCoubrey said that CCTV cameras showed footage of Grace and the man kissing and enjoying their time together on December 1 at a burger joint, a Mexican café, and then a bar.
Prosecutor McCoubrey said the alleged killer did not seem concerned by the presence of Grace’s dead body in his apartment. He took intimate photos of her body and watched pornography. He went on to say that the morning after he killed Millane, he searched on Google for “Waitakere Ranges” and “hottest fire.”
McCoubrey stated that the man then hired a car, bought a suitcase, and stuffed Grace’s body into it.
He then messaged another woman to confirm a date he had arranged earlier on Tinder, meeting her at a bar. The Prosecutor stated that he talked to his date about how somebody could get in trouble for manslaughter after rough sex that went wrong.
Tourism in New Zealand
New Zealand prides itself on welcoming tourists, and Grace Millane’s death has struck a deep chord in the country. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern spoke about New Zealanders feeling “hurt and shame” that she was killed in their country. Hundreds of people attended candlelight vigils after Millane’s death.
Grace had been traveling through New Zealand as part of a planned year-long trip abroad after graduating from university.