In a world exclusive, New Idea can reveal a crack team of US-based investigative journalists have tracked down Patrick McDermott to a small town in Mexico – providing picture proof that leading private investigators claim is the missing man.
It’s been more than a decade since the LA-based cameraman vanished at sea during a fishing trip off the coast of California, leaving many to speculate he had orchestrated the elaborate charade to escape mounting debts.
The 2005 disappearance has long haunted Olivia, who once tellingly revealed it had been ‘very hard’ and ‘human to wonder’ about what really happened to Patrick.
Now it appears the legendary Aussie performer can breathe a sigh of relief with this latest development and finally move on from the mystery that has no doubt played in the back of her mind for years.
News agencies, including Coleman-Rayner – who’ve been tracking Patrick for five years as part of a gruelling investigation – tell New Idea they first uncovered the undated photograph of Patrick one month ago in the sleepy Mexican fishing town of Sayulita. The image shows a man who bears striking resemblance to Patrick and appears to be around 60 years old – the age Patrick would be if he did not drown 12 years ago – lounging with an unidentified woman, soaking up the beachfront view.
Charlie Parker, who appeared in the 2012 movie The Imposter after exposing con man Fredric Bourdin for impersonating missing teen Nicholas Barclay, confirms it’s highly likely to be Patrick – even though authorities officially closed the case and declared him dead in 2008.
‘The widow’s peak is exact. The eyes are very similar and the ears extend down on the head in the same distance. I believe it’s him,’ Parker says, adding he determined a 90 per cent match between the recently uncovered picture and old photos of the former cameraman.
There have been several sightings of Patrick in Sayulita since he vanished from an overnight fishing trip just 30 minutes before the boat was due to return to shore, leaving his bill fully paid and personal belongings stacked neatly on his bed. Making the photograph all the more intriguing is that it was found just last month on a noticeboard at the run-down El Palmar del Camaron beach campsite, where locals believe Patrick first stayed when he made his daring escape from the US more than a decade ago.
The question of whether Patrick died, or wanted people to believe he was dead, has baffled authorities and family members for years – leading many determined investigators, such as Coleman-Rayner, to search for the missing man.
Most notable was Philip Klein, hired by leading US TV show Dateline to track Patrick down. Philip claimed they had ‘concluded beyond a reasonable doubt that Mr McDermott is alive,’ tracking him to the town of Puerto Vallarta in Mexico. But there had never been photographic evidence – until now. The bombshell will no doubt close the book on the mystery for 69-year-old Olivia, with friends of the star revealing she’ll be rocked by the new photo – but is ready to move on.
For the full story, and to see the explosive image, please see this weeks issue of New Idea - out now!