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Body of Grace Millane returned to her family before journey back to England in coming days

The body of Grace Millane has been formally identified.

In a statement today police say Grace has been returned to her family and they are in the process of organising to take her home, in the next few days.

Police say they are continuing to piece together exactly what happened to Grace, a tourist from England who was visiting New Zealand.

Grace's body was found in a bush area on Scenic Drive, in Auckland's Waitakere Ranges, following an extensive search on Sunday after she was last seen on December 1. 

A 26-year-old man charged with the murder of the 22-year-old appeared in the Auckland District Court on Monday where he was given interim name suppression.

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Joshua Lewis, a friend of Grace's brother, attended and said he can't imagine what he's going through. Source: 1 NEWS

Police say they still need to hear from anyone who may have come across a shovel believed linked to the murder investigation.

Vigils for Grace will take place in cities around the country tonight at the following locations:

Auckland, Wednesday 12th, 6pm, St Patrick's Cathedral Square
Auckland, Wednesday 12th, 7pm, Federal Street.
Hamilton, Wednesday 12th, 7pm, Memorial Park (pending confirmation)
New Plymouth, Wednesday 12th, 7pm, Puki Ariki Landing.
Wellington, Wednesday 12th, 7pm, Civic Square.
Nelson, Wednesday 12th, 7pm, 1903 Square.
Christchurch, Wednesday 12th, 7pm, Cathedral Square.
Dunedin, Wednesday 12th, 7pm, Lower Octagon.
Blenheim, Wednesday 12th, 7pm, Taylor River Amphitheatre.
Rotorua, Wednesday Tutanekai and Hinemoa Sts, 7pm

Photo tributes to Grace Millane have also been posted on social media under the hashtag #herlightourlove.

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For more on this story, watch 1 NEWS at 6pm. Source: 1 NEWS

Grace Millane
Grace Millane Source: Supplied


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