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Aussie tennis champ found dead in New Zealand

SYDNEY (JTA) — A former Jewish tennis champion from Melbourne who went missing in New Zealand last week was confirmed dead.

Paul Arber, 38, was in the North Island coaching eight young tennis players who competed in the Waikato Christmas Junior Tournament.

Arber, the 2012 Victorian Jewish Tennis Champion, was last seen early Dec. 8 about 75 miles south of Auckland.

On Friday, local police confirmed that a body found Thursday by a rowing crew from a local school was Arber.

Detective Inspector Karl Thornton told local media: “A postmortem examination conducted since the recovery has indicated there are no suspicious circumstances in relation to Mr. Arber’s death and the matter has been reported to the Coroner.”

A blessing native to Maori culture was conducted near the site where Arber’s body was recovered in keeping with local custom, Thornton said. Arber’s family, team mates and police staff attended.

His mother, Richelle, described him as a humanitarian and a great athlete and coach.

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