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Police believe tourist may have committed suicide

AAP, Australia
Nov. 15, 2004
David Crawshaw • Monday November 15, 2004

Missing British backpacker Melody O’Gara had probably committed suicide shortly after she disappeared from Sydney’s eastern suburbs last month, police said on Monday.

Ms O’Gara, 28, was last seen at a house in Woollahra at 8.30am on October 24.

Inspector Mark Smith of Kings Cross police said investigators did not believe Ms O’Gara had been murdered.

“There’s definitely no suspicious circumstances and we’re not treating it that way,” he said.

It was “more than likely” that she had taken her own life.

“Everything points to (suicide),” Insp Smith said.

“There’s been no money used, no cars used, no contact, she was seen right on the edge of a cliff and her property was found in the same spot.

“Everything points in that position.”

Some of Ms O’Gara’s property was found in Marks Park, between Bondi and Tamarama, shortly after she disappeared.

Ms O’Gara’s father Hugh O’Gara and her brother Kevin travelled to Sydney a fortnight ago to plead with the public to help find Melody.

Insp Smith said police had spoken to Ms O’Gara’s family about the likelihood she had committed suicide but the family found it difficult to come to terms with.

“The poor old dad and brother, they’re lovely people but I don’t think they’ve come to the realisation that she’s gone,” he said.

Police also dismissed suggestions Ms O’Gara may have joined a cult, after Mr O’Gara told police he had found a copy of Eckhart Tolle’s book The Power of Now among his daughter’s belongings.

The German new-age author advocated shedding the past “like the skin of a snake”, and Mr O’Gara last week said his daughter had talked enthusiastically about the book with friends.

He said a cult based on Tolle’s philosophy may have taken his daughter in or helped her disappear, adding he couldn’t accept theories that his daughter may have committed suicide.

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