Grace Millane was remembered by those closest to her along with police staff at a private blessing at the site her body was found.

Yesterday, the British backpacker's father, David Millane, and his brother joined police at the site in the Waitakere Ranges to pay their respects - just two days after Grace's body was found in a section of bush, just 10m off Scenic Drive.

The private blessing was the first time the Millane family have appeared in public since the discovery of Grace's body, a week after she was reported missing.

The family are also rumoured to have visited Titirangi's roundabout - the site where dozens of bouquets of flowers and messages have been left in memory of the young Englishwoman.

A memorial has popped up at the Titirangi roundabout in memory of murdered tourist Grace Millane, who's body was found only a few kilometres away in the Waitakere Ranges. Photo / Dean Purcell
A memorial has popped up at the Titirangi roundabout in memory of murdered tourist Grace Millane, who's body was found only a few kilometres away in the Waitakere Ranges. Photo / Dean Purcell

The blessing came as people across the world mourn Grace Millane's loss and look to understand the details of her alleged murder.

While Millane's parent's have not spoken publicly since her body was discovered, other friends and family have painted a picture of the "lovely, outgoing, fun-loving, family-orientated daughter" her father earlier described her as.

Maddie Hopper, Millane's friend from school in England, detailed the heartbreaking reality that family and friends are facing.

"I can't really process what has happened right now and I can't believe Grace is really gone," she posted on Facebook.

"My heart breaks every time I realise I'll never get to see her again."

Grace Millane, 22, was last heard from on December 1, 2018. Photo / Twitter
Grace Millane, 22, was last heard from on December 1, 2018. Photo / Twitter

Hopper described Millane as "one of the most genuine people I was lucky enough to know".

"Anyone who has met her knows how sweet and kind she was," she wrote.

"Grace never wanted anyone around her to be sad and she'd do anything she could to help make you feel better even if it meant not being able to talk about her own feelings."


Meanwhile, Millane's brother Declan took to Instagram to express his sorrow.

"You are my sunshine, my only sunshine," he wrote beside a photo of him and Grace.

"You make me happy when skies are gray. You'll never know dear, how much I love you. Please don't take my sunshine away," he said, quoting lyrics from You Are My Sunshine.

I can’t really process what has happened right now and I can’t believe Grace is really gone. My heart breaks every time...

Posted by Maddie Hopper on Sunday, 9 December 2018

Online tributes have been matched with an outpouring of public mourning, with many vigils and walks planned across the country in memory of Millane - the first which took place in Queenstown last night.

Mourners gathered outside The Bathhouse, a historical restaurant in the central South Island town - exhibiting candles, flowers, and other tributes.

Tonight many more people will pay their respects as they gather under candlelight in Auckland, Hamilton, New Plymouth, Wellington, Nelson, Christchurch and Dunedin.

"Many of our gut reactions are to want to say this isn't New Zealand, this isn't us. And to some degree it isn't - travelling women don't often get murdered here - but New Zealand women do, most often in their homes. We can hold both these things as important as part of the vigil," one event page read.

While Millane's life is honoured around the country, police were still working hard to determine the events that ultimately led to her death.

Yesterday police said there had been a great deal of public speculation about what happened to Grace, but they confirmed her body was intact when it was recovered.

While the man accused of Millane's murder remains in custody without plea until January 23, police also announced they were looking for a shovel believed to be related to the inquiry.

Detectives said they wanted to hear from anyone who may have found the shovel - described as an "Atlas Trade Hardwood Long Handle Round Mouth Shovel" - any time after Monday December 3.

Detective Inspector Scott Beard said: "At this point we don't know where this item is. It could be anywhere between the Scenic Drive and central Auckland areas".

"Someone may have come across it, picked it up and taken it home. We need to speak to that person or anyone who has seen it."

Police investigation at the Scenic Drive location in the Waitakere Ranges where Grace Millane's body was found. Photo / Doug Sherring
Police investigation at the Scenic Drive location in the Waitakere Ranges where Grace Millane's body was found. Photo / Doug Sherring

Beard said the scene examination at Scenic Drive was now complete and hundreds of calls have been made to the 0800 number.

"Officers are continuing to work their way through all of the information provided. A large number of staff remain on the inquiry, as investigators continue to build a timeline to establish the exact circumstances of what occurred," he said.

Millane was last seen alive on December 1, the day before her 22nd birthday.

Her body was eventually found in bush on the side of Scenic Drive in the Waitakere Ranges on Sunday.

The accused 26-year-old man was arrested and charged with her murder, appearing in court on Monday.

Millane, of Essex, who recently graduated from university, came to New Zealand as part of a year-long solo OE.

She arrived in Auckland just days before she was killed.

Grace Millane murder accused at risk:

The person charged with murdering Grace Millane is likely to be a marked man behind bars, potentially at serious risk from other prison inmates.

Experts have told the Herald about how at-risk inmates are handled in prison and the range of measures that can be taken to keep them safe.

The man, 26, charged with Millane's murder has been remanded in prison.

Judge Evangelos Thomas presided over his first appearance in a packed Auckland District Court on Monday, filled with members of the public and both international and national media.

In the hearing, Judge Thomas told the defendant: "As you will know the allegations that you face and the background to them have been the source of much media coverage over the last eight or nine days."

He then added that the man, who did not apply for bail, was going to be a "high-risk remand prisoner".

Criminologist Greg Newbold, speaking generally about at-risk inmates in prisons, said a person charged with a high-profile crime that caused public revulsion would land in prison being both unpopular and without any "friends" to support him.

"At the moment he'll be public enemy number one ... but you have to remember he hasn't been tried yet."

The trouble was, most prisoners would have made up their own minds about the accused's guilt and act accordingly.

"They'll likely just target him just for what he stands for, irrespective of whether he's guilty or not."

Hamilton barrister Roger Laybourn said the Corrections Department had several options available to them in that instance.

"They have their own internal processes because they are responsible to keep all prisoners safe. Segregation is the main one. That can take a number of forms, it can be almost like seclusion.

"That's more extreme or it can just be taking real care [about] who they are exposed to and who they mix with."

He said prisoners went through a classification process, in terms of risk, when they arrived at the prison.

Department of Corrections chief custodial officer Neil Beales said staff regularly assessed and monitored a range of factors that could influence safety or security.

"Prisoners who are at risk of harm from others, present a risk to the security of the prison, the safety of others, or themselves may be segregated from other prisoners or groups of prisoners."

The Grace Millane murder investigation has been beamed around the world, with some British media making the trip down under to report on proceedings.

While the accused may be at risk while incarcerated, his first court appearance also garnered unwanted attention due to suppression orders.

During his first appearance on Monday, the 26-year-old was denied name suppression, however, his lawyer instantly appealed the decision which automatically imposes a 20 working day suppression under New Zealand law.

Despite this, UK media named the man online, along with many others on social media.

Justice Minister Andrew Little said this breach of suppression could jeopardise a fair trial.

"I think it's unfortunate the British papers have done what they've done. It will not do justice to the Millane family if the accused in this case gets to walk away from facing justice because somebody else has disclosed his details," Little told media yesterday morning.

"The defence counsel will be looking for every opportunity to say fair trial rights might be compromised. The guy at some point will face court and potentially a trial in New Zealand

"If he doesn't, and he gets to walk away, that's a further injustice to the Millane family."

Little issued a stern warning, but acknowledged that British media were outside the jurisdiction of New Zealand courts.

"The international media, particularly the British media, are not helping the Millane family. If the media are concerned about justice and doing justice for the Millane family, they should stop publishing details.

"We don't have any arrangement whereby we can stop media from overseas publishing information. What we can do is act as tightly as we can here."

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said the Government had no plans to change name suppression laws despite international media having breached them.

Asked if name suppression laws were out of date with global connectivity, Ardern said: "There's no doubt the environment has changed."

But the Government was not looking at doing any work on name suppression laws, she said.

"At this time, it's not part of our agenda."