Belgian backpacker search officially called off

 

An investigation into what happened to missing Belgian backpacker Theo Hayez has been sent to the NSW Coroner.

Police today officially called off the search to find the 18-year-old who was last seen in Byron Bay on May 31.

A new video featuring missing tourist Theo Hayez has been released. Picture: Supplied
A new video featuring missing tourist Theo Hayez has been released. Picture: Supplied

"Detectives from Tweed and Byron Police District have referred the matter to the NSW Coroner," a NSW Police spokeswoman said.

"The family wish to thank the public and the community volunteers for their ongoing support.

"They have requested their privacy at this time."

Cheeky Monkey's Restaurant and Bar where missing Belgian backpacker Theo Hayez was last seen leaving. Picture: Regi Varghese
Cheeky Monkey's Restaurant and Bar where missing Belgian backpacker Theo Hayez was last seen leaving. Picture: Regi Varghese

The backpacker was last seen leaving Cheeky Monkey's nightclub on Jonson Street at 11pm, a raucous backpacker bar where people are known to dance on tables.

Police believe his mobile phone was turned on the next day after pings were detected near Cape Byron lighthouse.

A hat was also found that his family believed was his but police were unable to confirm a positive DNA match.

On Sunday night a vigil was held at Clarkes Beach at Byron Bay to raise awareness of the missing backpackers

Mr Hayez's godfather Jean-Philippe Pector spoke to the crowd.

"Theo loved to connect with people, he is just as comfortable talking environmental politics with adults as he is playing silly games with children," the Northern Star reported

"He has a cheeky sense of humour, he thinks deeply but also likes to make people laugh."

Mr Hayez's cousin Lisa Hayez said she was grateful for the support from the Byron Bay community.

"Since the 31st of May, Byron Bay changed, people who didn't know each other before reunited with the same goal, finding you," Ms Hayez said.

"They never stopped, not for a second and trust me, they are not ready to stop until we know what happened to you."



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