Murdered backpacker Grace Millane’s heartbroken dad dies of cancer almost two years on

David Millane speaking in Auckland in 2018 when his daughter was missing (Image: Getty Images)

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The dad of murdered backpacker Grace Millane has died of cancer in his hometown.

David Millane was diagnosed with the disease following the sentencing of his daughter's killer in Auckland, New Zealand in February.

David died in hometown of Wickford earlier this week, it is reported.

His wife Gillian and sons Declan and Michael are mourning their loss nearly two years after his daughter Grace was killed in a hotel in Auckland.

Detective Inspector Scott Beard released a statement expressing sympathy for the family.

Grace was killed in New Zealand in December 2018
(Image: PA)

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"The Millane family had their lives turned upside down when David’s much loved and cherished daughter Grace was murdered while visiting New Zealand in December 2018," he said.

"NZ Police worked closely with the Millane family as part of the investigation into Grace’s murder and provided victim support throughout the subsequent trial. 

"Our thoughts and sympathies are with Gillian, Michael, Declan and the rest of their whanau (family)."

Grace was strangled to death by her Tinder date on December 1 2018, the day before she would have turned 22.

Mr Millane was devastated and heartbroken by the murder of his daughter
(Image: Getty Images)

Her body was later found in a suitcase buried in a forested area on the outskirts of the city.

Her killer, who cannot be named for legal reasons, claimed during his trial the pair had engaged in rough sex that went too far.

However a jury rejected that argument and found him guilty of murder.

David and Gillian Millane after their daughter's killer was found guilty of murdering Grace
(Image: Getty Images)

He has since appealed his conviction and sentence.

Following the sentence, Miss Millane's parents Gillian and David told media the verdict was welcomed by friends and family alike.

Mr Millane said that his daughter had been "their sunshine" and would be "missed forever".

Mr Millane said: "It will not reduce the pain and suffering we have had to endure over the past year.

"Grace was taken in the most brutal fashion a year ago and our lives have been ripped apart."

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