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Patrick Kim McDermott (born 1957) is a light technician who was a longtime boyfriend of Olivia Newton-John.
McDermott had previously filed for bankruptcy and had received a court order to pay overdue child support to his former wife, actress Yvette Nipar. Nipar and McDermott were married on March 1, 1992 when Nipar was four months pregnant. They divorced 15 months later on June 30, 1993.
He disappeared from a fishing charter boat off San Pedro, California, on June 30, 2005. The 48-year-old McDermott was a passenger on the fishing boat Freedom which had left from the San Pedro marina for an overnight fishing trip. The 22 passengers and three crew members on board gave contradicting reports of his whereabouts both during and at the conclusion of the trip. His absence was apparently unnoticed until July 6, 2005, when he failed to attend a family event.
A Coast Guard investigation released in November 2008 concluded that McDermott "most likely" drowned. However, the circumstances of his disappearance have fueled speculation that he faked his own death. The case has been featured on America's Most Wanted. In a 2009 feature on Dateline NBC, investigators went undercover to look for him in Mexico, where they believed he may be in hiding. The investigators claim that he disappeared to avoid debts, including USD$8,000 owed to his ex-wife for child support, and created the website FindPatrickMcDermott.com for the sole purpose of trapping Mr. McDermott. As the Dateline special showed, all visitors' web addresses were logged and mapped. The Dateline investigators currently believe Mr. McDermott is living in a boat off the west coast of Mexico and continue to track hits to their website. The Dateline investigators claim that there have been over 20 sightings of McDermott in Mexico and Central America.
In January 2009, investigators reported he is alive and well in Mexico, and asking to be left alone.
In April 2009, lead investigator Philip R. Klein released the following statement:
"Since the airing of the Dateline NBC story and the media coverage of this story from around the world - we the investigators in the case would like to say "thank you" to all of you from around the world that have helped us track Mr. McDermott down. Our team cannot ever say enough thanks to the people and governments of the United States, Mexico, Brazil and Panama. As well, INTERPOL and other federal agencies that has communicated and assisted us in this case. On February 10, 2009, our firm received a fax from a small city in Mexico near Acapulco in the State of Guerrero of the Pacific coast. After investigating the letter sent to us by fax - we began to investigate its origin. Since that time we have been in phone contact with a 'representative' of Mr. McDermott. We find this 'representative' credible. We are currently in negotiations with this 'representative' and will make an announcement when necessary. Please understand that we are using all caution due to the current issues Mexico is facing and the safety of our staff. As well, we ask all of you, including the media to remember there is a young man out there that would like firm and clear answers to why his father went missing. Please keep him in your thoughts. We will make a formal statement and announcement through our friends at NBC Dateline at the proper time."
After years of searching for the missing man, a group of private investigators hired by Dateline NBC were finally able to locate Mr McDermott alive and living in Mexico, according to E! Online.
The private eyes, led by Texas-based investigator Philip Klein, reportedly tracked McDermott down after noticing that a collection of centralized IP addresses were logging onto the Web site that followed his presumed whereabouts.
The addresses led the investigators to the Mexican-Pacific coast near Puerto Vallarta, where McDermott had been living under his birth name.
After they were able to retrieve "documentation and voice imprints" from him, Klein called an official end to the hunt, saying they had "concluded beyond a reasonable doubt that Mr. McDermott is alive."
The owner of the vessel will be seeking return of legal fees upward of $80,000.00 when Mr. McDermott returns to the States.
"Mr. McDermott's wishes, according to his counsel, is not to be 'hounded' any longer by investigators or the media," Klein said at a press conference.