Christchurch man charged with Michael McGrath's murder

A Christchurch man has been arrested and charged with the murder of missing Halswell man Michael McGrath. The 49-year-old builder went missing from his home on May 21 2017.

After two years of investigations, relief has finally come for police and the McGrath family. On Monday, police announced they have arrested a 51-year-old and charged him with McGrath's murder.

"Our thoughts are with the McGrath family today as they come to terms with the fact that the arrest confirms their worst fears," said Christchurch Detective Inspector Kylie Schaare.

"While Michael's family were realistic that Michael would not be found alive, I am sure a small part of them hoped they were wrong."

Ever since McGrath disappeared, police have had serious concerns for his safety and conducted a large search and investigation.

The first place to be searched was McGrath's Checketts Avenue home.

After this, a team of forensic investigators turned their attention to a rural Halswell property - combing every inch of the lifestyle block for clues.

Then the search moved to the Kate Valley landfill - an hour north of Christchurch - sifting through nearly 3000 tonnes of rubbish and saving any items of interest.

McGraths family appealed to the public, pleading for anyone with any information to come forward.

"His family and friends are desperate to get him home and we're making these pleas for any sightings or activity," McGrath's brother, Simon McGrath said at the time.

Then on Monday police announced they had made an arrest, which came from a review of the case over the past month where they made a number of breakthroughs. They also raided a Halswell property following the man's arrest.

"Police have not yet located Michael's body, but we are absolutely committed and determined to find him and return him to his family," Schaare said.

Police told Newshub the accused will appear in the Christchurch domestic Court on Tuesday morning.