Olivia is frantic over lost boyfriend
LOS ANGELES (AAP). ? Northern Rivers resident Olivia Newton-John is frantic with worry following the mysterious disappearance of her long-time boyfriend, friends say.
US authorities are baffled by the disappearance of Patrick McDermott, 48, last seen when he boarded a boat for an overnight fishing trip off the coast of California on June 30.
While they are treating it as a missing persons case, authorities have not ruled out the possibility he was murdered, or that he staged his own disappearance.
"It's a really strange one," Coast Guard investigator Dennis Nebrich said yesterday.
McDermott, a cameraman, and Newton-John, 57, have been in a relationship for nine years since meeting on the set of a commercial.
"Obviously Olivia has had a very difficult few weeks," a friend told Woman's Day magazine.
"She's been trying to keep the lid on her emotions, but she's frantic with worry."
Friends say the couple have had an intense and committed relationship.
They say McDermott has been a rock for the singer, who in 1992 fought breast cancer and three years later ended her 11year marriage to Matt Lattanzi.
McDermott was last seen alone, boarding an overnight fishing vessel at San Pedro Harbour, south of Los Angeles.
The vessel was packed with crew and other anglers, who did not know McDermott and who were all looking forward to 24 hours of fishing.
He missed a long-planned family event on July 6 and was reported missing on July 11, when his car was found in a parking lot near the San Pedro marina.
Despite interviews with the boat crew and numerous anglers, authorities have no substantial leads.
"It was a boat where you pay your money, you go overnight," Nebrich said.
"We talked to a lot of people."
Authorities are not sure if McDermott walked off the boat when it docked back at San Pedro on July 1 or whether he jumped from the boat, was pushed, or vanished by other means while it was at sea.
McDermott's personal items, such as a backpack and fishing gear, were left on the boat.
McDermott's family, which includes his 15-year-old son, became concerned when he did not turn up to the family gathering on July 6.
US Coast Guard warrant officer William Epperson said that with little evidence authorities are treating McDermott as a missing person, not a murder victim.
Despite the Los Angeles Police Department issuing a press release on August 10, the US media has taken little interest in the case. It was only yesterday when McDermott was linked to Newton-John that the media covered the matter.