The prominent detective who conducted the investigation into the murder of Grace Millane said he saw his “strong” dad “crumble before me.”
Investigative inspector Scott Beard said the toll that the harrowing case had on David Millane deeply affected him, given that he himself has an adult daughter.
DI Beard and Millane bonded as Grace’s father traveled to New Zealand to help search for her daughter before the creepy discovery of her body in a suitcase buried in the chains of Waitakere, a wooded area west of New York’s largest city Zealand, Auckland.
The police officer said to RNZ: “We [the police] it was his family, his friends, his support all united.
“It was important for me to conduct the investigation, doing all the media interviews, to establish a relationship with him to make it, because I had to tell him every day before I told the media what was going on.
“I saw this strong and loving family man crumble before me. And it’s difficult.”
He also told how the murderer of Grace, a 28-year-old man who was sentenced to at least 17 years in prison yesterday, repeatedly lied to the police and showed no emotion.
A danger to the community would inevitably go to kill, said the detective.
The case touched him personally, since he has a 20-year-old daughter. Backpacker Grace was 21 when she was killed on an appointment in December 2018 in an Auckland hotel.
About the intense pressure of the case, he said the team worked long hours with the glare of the international media spotlight on them after his disappearance.
Telling the story day after day to the media became “sadder and sadder” before his body was discovered.
After the hideous discovery of the suitcase in the shallow grave, DI Beard revealed that he had only one minute of wait between the confirmation of Grace’s family and was told before having to face the media and deliver the news of his death to the world .
He told RNZ that “he didn’t have time to go into the area and get ready. It was exciting.”
He added: “There was a sense of relief that we had found Grace. The purpose of the investigation was to find Grace. But the tragedy around it.”
After traveling to the UK for Grace’s funeral in January 2019, DI Beard was the one who gave it a shot – he was diagnosed with prostate cancer.
Marketing graduate Grace from Essex died “terrified and alone in a room with you,” said her mother, Gillian, while addressing the assassin directly – who cannot be named because of New Zealand law. .
She said that her loss made her want to take her own life.
“Every day I torment myself for what you have done,” said Gillian, in a powerful and emotional statement at court during the murderer’s conviction.
“The tears I shed are endless at the thought of never having the opportunity to kiss my goodbye grace.”