Another tragic blow for Grace Millane's family as her father dies after being diagnosed with cancer just weeks after her murder trial
The father of murdered backpacker Grace Millane has died after a short battle with cancer.
David Millane was diagnosed with cancer following the trial of his daughter's killer in Auckland, New Zealand in February.
It is understood he was recently told the cancer was terminal and died earlier this week in his hometown in Wickford, England.
His wife Gillian as well as sons Declan and Michael have been mourning their loss just twoyears after his daughter Grace died in a hotel in Auckland.
to Detective Inspector Scott Beard released a statement expressing sympathy for the family.
'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 after meeting her killer via Tinder on December 1, 2018 – the day before her 22nd birthday.
Ms Millane's body was later found in a suitcase buried in a forested area outside the city.
The killer, who cannot be named for legal reasons, claimed Ms Millane died accidentally after the pair engaged in rough sex that went too far.
A jury in November rejected that argument and found the man guilty. He has since appealed his conviction and sentence.
Murder typically comes with a life sentence in New Zealand. Prosecutors successfully argued that the man must serve 17 years before becoming eligible for parole.
After the sentence was handed down Grace's parents Gillian and David tearfully told media the verdict was welcomed by friends and family alike.
'It will not reduce the pain and suffering we have had to endure over the past year,' Mr Millane said.
'Grace was taken in the most brutal fashion a year ago and our lives have been ripped apart.'
He added that 'Grace was our sunshine and she will be missed forever.'
Ms Millane had been traveling through New Zealand as part of a planned year-long trip abroad after graduating from university.