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Ofer Levy, 22, was last seen checking out of a hostel in Manchester Street with a friend shortly before the earthquake.

The Israeli national was on holiday in New Zealand after completing his compulsory military service at home.

Ofer's body was identified by his sister, Michal Levy, yesterday afternoon and his death was confirmed by police on March 3, 2011.

Ms Levy cut short her holiday in India to come and look for her brother and his childhood friend, Gabi Ingel, who also died in the earthquake.


She said the two young men were "clean souls" and came to travel in New Zealand because they had a love of nature.

"Others go to South America, India, Australia, but they came to travel for a few months in New Zealand," she said.

"Gabi came first and he convinced Ofer to come to New Zealand. [Ofer] was thinking of going to Cuba but decided to join his best friend."

Ofer was the youngest of four children and his family's only son.

He was a musician and a keen athlete, Ms Levy said.

"He was always doing martial arts, or mountain biking. He was also a saxophone player, like me, his older sister.

"We used to play together, he played the alto, I played the tenor.

"He was a real gentleman, a remarkable person," she said.