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Father ‘needs to know where Olivia is’
Gerald Hope, father of missing teenager Olivia Hope is reported (NZPA 14 May 1998) as saying he and his family have great difficulty in accepting the stark reality that they know exists, “till such time as there is irrefutably evidence of the whereabouts of Ben (Smart) and Olivia.”
Olivia (17) and her friend Ben (21) disappeared in the early hours of New Years Day 1998, after being dropped off along with a mystery man at a yacht moored in Endeavour Inlet, off Furneaux Lodge. They were reported missing on 2 January and one of New Zealand highest profile police investigations code-named Operation Tam began.

Mr Smart is reported as saying the family still needs to know where Olivia is, dead or alive. He said finding her body would go a long way towards concluding the events surrounding her death.

Mr Smart’s comment came as police and navy searched deep water in the Marlborough Sounds using sophisticated equipment to identify sea-bed objects which divers then checked out. Police said on 14 May that nothing conclusively relevant to the double murder investigation had been found.

Mr Hope said the family had lived with the likelihood (that the pair had been murdered) every day for the past four months. He said in such cases, the human psyche had a strong desire to believe otherwise. However, this ‘naïve optimism’ had always been tempered by the reality of the affair, he said.

Asked by a reporter if he really wanted to be confronted with the grim reality of bodies being found, Mr Hope is reported to have said it would help deal with Olivia’s death.

He said the family found it reassuring that everything was being done to find out what had happened to them, evidenced by the police and navy search of the Sounds. He said he accepted that if nothing was found in this search, looking for the bodies could not continue randomly

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Gerald Hope needs answers to his daughter's disappearance.

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