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New Zealand police search for 22-year-old British tourist

This Saturday, Dec. 1, 2018, CCTV image released by New Zealand Police shows 22-year-old English tourist Grace Millane in central Auckland, New Zealand. The image was captured on Saturday night, about 7:15 p.m. and is the last known sighting of Millane, whose 22nd birthday was the next day. (NZ Police via AP)

WELINGTON, New Zealand (AP) — New Zealand police were searching Thursday for a 22-year-old British tourist who has been missing for five days and failed to contact her parents on her birthday.

Grace Millane was last seen on Saturday evening in central Auckland. She had been staying at a backpacker hostel and left some of her belongings there. Her birthday was on Sunday and police said it was unusual for her not to contact her family then.

Detective Inspector Scott Beard told reporters the investigation is focusing on videos from surveillance cameras around the city. He urged anyone who has seen Millane or knows her to contact police.

“The police investigation today has concentrated on her movements and activities in Auckland since she’s arrived in New Zealand,” Beard said. “A large part of that focus has been around CCTV footage around Auckland.”

Police released a blurry image of Millane taken from a surveillance camera in which she is wearing a black dress and white sneakers.

“The longer this goes on the more concerning it is,” Beard said. “At the moment, we don’t have any evidence of foul play but we’re keeping an open mind.”

Beard said Millane’s father was on his way to New Zealand.

Millane’s brother, Michael Millane, posted an appeal for help on Facebook. He said they had been in contact with the British High Commission in Wellington.

“Grace has been missing for five days,” he wrote. “She has not returned to her hostel room in Auckland, New Zealand, and family members have had no contact since Saturday 1st December.”

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