Melody O'GARA

Melody O'GARA

Age - 28 years when missing

She is described as being of petite build with shoulder-length brown hair and brown eyes. She was last seen wearing a blue T-shirt and jeans.
Last seen - October 24th 2004, Woollahra Sydney. Possible sighting in Mark's Park, Tamarama (near Bondi).

Circumstances - Melody is a British tourist holidaying in Australia. She arrived in Sydney in February 2004 on a working visa. She did not catch a flight she had booked to Melbourne the following week and missed another flight to Singapore two days later.

Her handbag, containing personal items, was found by a security guard at Marks Park, on the coastal walk between Tamarama and south Bondi, at 1.30am on Thursday October 28th.

If you have any information regarding the disappearance of Melody O'Gara please contact Crimestoppers on 1800 333 000.

*Click here to visit Melody's other webpage

*Melody's family and friends are desperate to know what happened to her. If you have any information at all PLEASE let someone know, either Mel's family or Crimestoppers
 

The father of a missing British backpacker flies in to Sydney today in a desperate bid to help in the hunt for his missing daughter.

Police hold grave fears for the safety of Melody O'Gara, 28, who was last seen in the early hours last Sunday at a friend's house in the Sydney beachside suburb of Bondi.

She had told her friend she was going to sleep on the sofa in the living room, but has not been seen since.

Her flatmates became concerned when she did not return to her Kings Cross apartment and alerted police.

Ms O'Gara, originally from Bolton, travelled to Australia on a working visa in February. Her father, Hugh, is expected to arrive at Sydney Airport on a flight from London this morning.

Ms O'Gara did not catch a flight she had booked to Melbourne on Monday, and missed her flight to Singapore two days later.

Police found Ms O'Gara's bag in a Bondi park yesterday.

It is not unusual for backpackers to go missing and not contact friends, only to reappear days or weeks later.

Inspector Chris Craner of Kings Cross police said there was nothing to suggest foul play was involved in the backpacker's disappearance.

Police said the missing persons unit would check Ms O'Gara's bank accounts and credit card to see if they had been accessed.

Inspector Craner said friends of the tourist had contacted police after their appeal for public assistance, but detectives were no closer to finding Ms O'Gara.

She is described as being of petite build with shoulder-length brown hair and brown eyes. She was last seen wearing a blue T-shirt and jeans.

*A woman matching the description of missing British tourist Melody O'Gara was spotted by an elderly man on a cliff top in Sydney's eastern suburbs.

*Ms O'Gara was last seen on the couch at a friend's house in Woollahra at 8.30am last Sunday when her friend arrived home from work.

She did not catch a flight she had booked to Melbourne on Monday and missed another flight to Singapore two days later.

Her handbag, containing personal items, was found by a security guard at Marks Park, on the coastal walk between Tamarama and south Bondi, at 1.30am on Thursday.

"[The handbag] was located approximately two metres from the cliff's edge under an overhanging rock," Insp Jones said.

He added that a search of the area had been made and water police had been contacted, but a coastal search had been delayed because of weather conditions.

A police spokeswoman said Ms O'Gara's father was flying out from London and was due to arrive in Sydney later today.

Ms O'Gara travelled to Australia on a working visa and had been in the country for about a year and had been living in the Sydney suburb of Darlinghurst, Insp Jones said.

She had been working in cafes and attended a party the night before her disappearance.

Cult 'unlikely' to have taken tourist

THERE was no evidence a cult that believed in severing ties to the past existed in Australia and had spirited away a British tourist, a cult expert said today.

However, Uniting Church minister David Milliken said missing tourist Melody O'Gara may have been taken in by the writings of a German new-age author who advocated shedding the past "like the skin of a snake".

Ms O'Gara's father Hugh said he had found a copy of Eckhart Tolle's book The Power of Now among his daughter's belongings.

The 28-year-old had also talked enthusiastically about the book with friends, he said.

Mr O'Gara arrived in Sydney this week to search for his daughter, who was last seen at a friend's house in Woollahra at 8.30am (AEST) on October 24.

He said the book advocated "completely dumping the past and reinventing yourself" as a way forward.

According to the book, "there was no way of rediscovering yourself ... if you didn't discard the past," he said.

"The gist of it is to discard the past and start again."

Mr O'Gara said a cult based on Tolle's philosophy may have taken his daughter in or helped her disappear.

But Rev Milliken said Ms O'Gara may simply have been a creative young woman who enjoyed exploring the philosophies espoused in Tolle's book.

"But we have to know (if) there's a group out there," he said.

"That's the missing piece of information. If we got the slightest information that there was some group that had taken these ideas and had run with them ... and begin to place demands on people the whole scenario sits up."

Mr O'Gara said he couldn't accept theories that his daughter may have committed suicide.

He said her travel diary showed only hope and plans for the future and she had never shown any indication of being troubled.

Ms O'Gara's handbag, containing personal items, was found by a security guard near a coastal walk in Sydney's eastern suburbs at 1.30am on October 28.

New South Wales Police have dismissed two reported sightings of the missing tourist, based on insufficient information.

Mr O'Gara said he found it strange that no one had had any contact with his daughter.

"For my daughter not to be speaking on her mobile phone for more than 20 minutes is unthinkable," he said.

Police believe tourist may have suicided
November 15, 2004 - 3:15PM - The Age


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.

Insp Smith said he believed Kevin O'Gara had returned to England but Hugh O'Gara remained in Australia.

Emotional plea from missing backpacker's father
November 3, 2004 - 2:25PM - SMH


Choking back tears the father of missing British backpacker Melody O'Gara has made an emotional plea for information on his missing 28-year-old daughter.

Describing Melody as a happy, positive person, Hugh O'Gara dismissed suggestions she would take her own life.

Mr O'Gara and his son Kevin met the media today to plead for help in finding Ms O'Gara who vanished in Sydney eastern suburbs a week ago.

The last positive sighting of Ms O'Gara was at a friend's house in Woollahra at 8.30am on October 24. She was reported missing later that night after failing to attend a friend's party.

She also missed to prebooked flights to Melbourne last Monday and to Singapore two days later.

Her father and brother, who arrived from London late last night, described Ms O'Gara as a "very special person who lived fast and enjoyed everything".

"I had awful sorts of things going on in my mind of what might have happened to Melody," Hugh O'Gara told reporters.

"The thought that she might have done something to herself never entered my head."

He said coming to Australia to look for his daughter was the "worst thing I have ever done in my life".

He urged his daughter to make contact.

"Melody if you are out there we need a phone call. Your mum is a bit fragile at the minute and she wants to hear from you," he said.

"Whatever it is (if) you have troubles or anything we can get them sorted. Hundreds of people will help you Melody, not just a few, hundreds."

Police have been given two leads in the case.

One man told police he had seen Ms O'Gara's name logged into a computer at a Darlinghurst internet cafe three days after she was reported missing.

On the same day a 70-year-old man made a possible sighting of Ms O'Gara on the Bondi to Tamarama coastal walk, sitting in a precarious position on a ledge and was alone.

Ms O'Gara's handbag, containing personal items, was found by a security guard at Marks Park, on the coastal walk at 1.30am the next day.

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