Alleged killer ‘obsessed with girls’
EXPLOSIVE new allegations about the man accused of murdering 22-year-old British backpacker Grace Millane in New Zealand have been revealed by his family and those who knew him.
The 26-year-old - who cannot be named for legal reasons - stands accused of the killing of Grace Millane, whose body was found in bushland in the Waitakere Ranges, west of Auckland, on Sunday morning.
She mysteriously went missing in the city centre on December 1, a day before her 22nd birthday, after she reportedly met a man on a Tinder date.
However, a former softball teammate of the alleged killer - who is understood to have lived in Sydney and fathered a child there - has spoken out.
He told the Daily Mail the alleged killer was a "weird guy" who was "creepy," and "his life revolved around girls, talking to girls".
The accused had also become estranged from his family following the breakdown of his parents' marriage, according to his grandfather who spoke to media in New Zealand.
Before his alleged crimes shocked the world earlier this week, the accused took to Facebook in October to apologise for everybody he had hurt in his life - adding that he had made a lot of "bad decisions".
"I've done a lot of reflection over time and have narrowed down the cause of (my bad decisions) and with that being said I believe you all deserve to know," he wrote.
"My clear arrogance and selfishness has truly affected the relationship I have with the people in my life.
"I know that I was growing up, emotionally, mentally. When we grow up, we make mistakes. That's how we improve! In the exam of life, you can't retest yourself with the same question paper!
"But with that being said we can change how we treat each other and over time I've learnt that every action has a reaction but I've also learnt how much compassion we all have as people. I've recently been diagnosed with severe anxiety and currently take medication to keep this under control."
The Telegraph newspaper in the UK reports that he had become estranged from his family, and that his grandfather had raised him after his parents separated when he was younger.
His grandfather told Stuff, "He was a nice kid, but he sort of fell out with everybody, which is what happens with broken up marriages."
The former softball teammate of the alleged killer said: "He was always trying to get with younger girls … he was very quiet around the boys," he told the Daily Mail.
It's also been revealed that the accused was due to meet another Tinder date on the night Ms Millane was murdered.
Disturbingly, just 11 minutes before she was last seen alive, a Facebook user alleged to be the accused man left a chilling comment on Ms Millane's Facebook profile picture, writing "beautiful very radiant" with an upside-down smiley face emoji. The comment has since been deleted.
A woman who was supposed to have met up with the alleged killer via Tinder after talking to him for several months has spoken to media in New Zealand, saying she was too busy to meet him.
"Obviously angels were watching over me," the unnamed woman told Fairfax adding that she thought she had been talking to a "decent guy".
"At the time it was just legitimately all normal," she said. "The only weird thing I thought about him was that he asked me for feet photos and of me with my high heels on."
The new details are emerging amid pressure to name the suspect, following public outcry over the death.
However, the British media's public naming of him risks Ms Millane's family not seeing justice done, according to the New Zealand Government.
New Zealand courts, however, are powerless to stop publication overseas, with the man named by several British news organisations.
"The international media and particularly the British media are not helping the Millane family," Justice Minister Andrew Little told reporters in Wellington on Tuesday.
"If the British media are concerned about justice for the Millane family, they should stop publishing details."
The defence would be looking for any opportunity to claim trial rights had been breached, he said.
"It will not do justice to the Millane family if the accused in this case gets to walk away from facing justice because somebody has disclosed his details."
Flowers have been piling up near on a roundabout near the site in recent days, a sign of an ongoing and widespread outpouring of emotion by the New Zealand public.
Meanwhile, the first of what will be a series of candlelight vigils for Ms Millane has been held in the South Island town of Queenstown. About 100 people, including locals and tourists, gathered on the lakefront on Tuesday night, laying flowers and lighting candles.
Thousands more are expected to gather at a series of vigils across the country on Wednesday evening, while a drive from central Auckland to the site where Ms Millane's body was found is scheduled for Friday night.
- with wires