A week of fading hopes for British backpacker Grace Millane has come to a devastating end with police saying they believe she has been murdered - although no body has been found. "At this point, we hold grave concerns for her safety".
Evidence they had found had indicated Grace was no longer alive, Beard said.
Ms Millane, who turned 22 on Sunday, was last seen with a 'male companion'at CityLife Hotel, in Auckland, on December 1.
"Grace's family have been advised of this development and are devastated".
Inspector Beard said that, along with information provided by the 26-year-old, CCTV footage and a "scene examination" indicated Ms Millane was dead.
A 26-year-old man is now being held in connection with the murder, Det Insp Beard added.
He added: "I know that the thoughts of all New Zealanders will be with Grace's family tonight".
Millane graduated from the University of Lincoln in September before beginning her trip.
Her other belongings had remained this week at Base Backpackers, where she had been booked in to stay until today.
"The family are devastated, everybody who is a parent out there will understand what this family is going through".
They revealed yesterday that their investigations included questioning the man who was with Millane when she was last seen.
"We've spoken to David [Grace's father] we've met him, but there is family in the United Kingdom and our hearts go out to them as well".
DI Beard confirmed that the man being questioned by police on Saturday was the same individual.
She had daily contact with her loved ones via social media but her father, David Millane, said the family last heard from her on December 1.
"We know that he was with her on the Saturday evening and went to a number of places before going to the Citylife Hotel", Mr Beard said.
"Grace is a lovely, outgoing, fun-loving, family-orientated daughter".
Grace Millane's belongings, including a necklace and a Baby-G watch.
Earlier searches of Millane's accommodation at a backpackers' hostel found several items, including her passport, were missing.
Earlier on Saturday police released images of her necklace and watch and urged anyone who recognised the items to come forward.
"We are all extremely upset and it is very hard at this time to fully describe the range of emotions we are all going through".
'Finally I would like to take this opportunity to appeal to anybody who has seen, spoken to or come into contact with Grace over the last few days to come forward with any detail no matter how small and contact the investigation team'.
He said police were working on reviewing hours of surveillance camera footage from around the city, which has proved crucial in tracking Millane's movements.