Mystery Deepens After Passport Of Missing Belgian Backpacker Found
The search for missing Belgian backpacker Théo Hayez will be expanded to the water on Wednesday, with police launching a specialist drone to scour seas off Byron Bay.
Officers will team up with NSW Surf Lifesaving, who will also be scouring Belongil Beach, after days of extensive land searches failed to find any trace of the missing teenager.
Hayez has not been seen or heard from for close to two weeks, after he failed to return to his hostel following a night out in Byron Bay.
Police have now also confirmed his passport and personal belongings were all located inside his room.
The teenager had been backpacking alone around Australia since November, and was due to return home to his family in Belgium this week, Hayez's cousin Lisa told 10 daily on Saturday.
Hayez was last seen leaving Byron Bay's Cheeky Monkey bar at around 11pm on Friday, May 31, and police said he has not used his mobile phone or made any financial transactions since.
Community members, SES volunteers and Hayez's family and friends have tirelessly been conducting searches for the teenager in the last week.
District Chief Inspector Michael Dempsey said police and the teen's family and friends have been "touched by the kindness" of the local community.
“Police would like to acknowledge and thank the local State Emergency Services staff and community members who have searched tirelessly over the last three days," Dempsey said.
"Also, thanks to community members for dropping off food and drinks at our search Command Post."
Last week, Lisa told 10 daily Théo's parents and younger brother were extremely concerned.
"They are very worried and are doing everything they can from Belgium," Lisa said, adding she had last seen her cousin just days before he disappeared when the pair caught up for the weekend.
"Theo is a very positive person, always smiling and in a good mood," she said.
Théo, who was last seen wearing a black hooded jumper, beige pants and black shoes, is described as being approximately 180-190 centimetres tall, with a thin build and blond hair.
Dempsey said any information or sightings of Hayez would "greatly assist" investigations, adding police were particularly looking for any CCTV or dashcam footage from the surrounding area from 11pm on Friday 31 May.
Anyone with information is being urged to contact police or Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.
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