Father certain daughter was in crash
JOHN EDENS IN QUEENSTOWN
The British father of a young backpacker who went missing aboard a helicopter in remote Fiordland says he is certain police have found his daughter.
Wreckage of a Hughes 500 helicopter, which went missing in 2004 with pilot Campbell Montgomerie, 27, of Waikato, and Hannah Rose Timings, 28, of Gloucestershire, England, was discovered near the head of Humboldt Creek last month.
The chief coroner is continuing to investigate whether to reopen an inquest for the young pilot and his English passenger almost nine years after their helicopter went missing.
Ms Timings' father, Phil, told the Gloucester Echo in the UK that he was 100 per cent sure the remains recovered from the scene were Hannah's after her credit card was found among the wreckage.
"We are totally confident that the correct helicopter has been found and they have found a credit card belonging to her. We are 100 per cent satisfied it's Hannah they have found."
He told the Echo he was in regular contact with the New Zealand police and knew what had happened in 2004 so the discovery did not make much difference.
"We had been expecting the phone call to say they had found Hannah. It could have happened now or it could have happened in 15 years. So it's the end of the waiting game. It's done.
"It's not true that it has given us closure. That happened nine years ago. All we know now that we didn't know before is where it happened."
Mr Timings said the family would not hold a funeral service should the New Zealand authorities release remains.
His daughter had loved to travel and her trip to New Zealand was meant to be her last before taking over her father's furniture firm.
Mr Montgomerie and Ms Timings were declared dead at an inquest in 2004 but the case was referred to the office of the chief coroner, Judge Neil MacLean, when the wreckage was found.
- The Southland Times