A shovel sought by police in relation to the Grace Millane murder has been found.

Detective Inspector Scott Beard announced today that the item was recovered by detectives earlier today, as a result of the continued examination of CCTV footage.

It was located and seized in the central West Auckland area.

"Police would like to thank those members of the public who called the 0800 number with various sightings of similar items," he said.

Advertisement
British backpacker Grace Millane's body was found in West Auckland's Waitakere Ranges. Photo / Supplied
British backpacker Grace Millane's body was found in West Auckland's Waitakere Ranges. Photo / Supplied

On Tuesday, police issued a public appeal for anyone who may have found the shovel, described as a 'Atlas Trade Hardwood Long Handle Round Mouth Shovel', anytime after Monday 3 December.

"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," they said at the time.

Yesterday police announced that Millane's body had been formally identified and had been returned to her family.

Detective Beard said work continues to piece together exactly what happened to Millane, as police build a timeline of the circumstances.

Grace's father, David Millane, later issued a statement thanking police and the New Zealand public for their support.

Police released this image of the type of shovel they were looking for. Photo / Supplied
Police released this image of the type of shovel they were looking for. Photo / Supplied

"After the disappearance of Grace on 1st December 2018 our whole world turned upside down," he said.

"I arrived in Auckland on Friday 7th December, followed by my brother Martin on Saturday 8th. From that very first moment we have been astounded by the level of concern, sympathy and selfless help from every person we have met.

Advertisement

"Auckland Police have carried out the most concise, stringent and thorough investigation. The team, consisting at times of over 24 officers have worked arduous long hours without a day off, little sleep or rest in helping to resolve this heinous crime."

A CCTV image of Grace on the night she disappeared, left, and her father David at a police press conference.
A CCTV image of Grace on the night she disappeared, left, and her father David at a police press conference.

David Millane also said he hoped what happened to his daughter "will not deter even one person from venturing out into the world and discovering their own OE".

He said the family would be returning Grace's body to the UK this weekend, after many vigils were held around the country.

Grace 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 Dr in the Waitakere Ranges on Sunday.

The Millane family would be returning Grace's body to the UK this weekend, after many vigils were held around the country. Photo / Supplied
The Millane family would be returning Grace's body to the UK this weekend, after many vigils were held around the country. Photo / Supplied

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.