Missing Tourist's Father Makes Emotional Nod To 'The Australian People'
The father of missing Belgian teenager Theo Hayez has thanked the hundreds of people searching for his son in an emotional address to the public.
Since arriving in Australia, Theo's family together with a growing army of locals from Byron Bay on the NSW north coast have worked tirelessly to locate the teenager.
Theo, 18, was last seen leaving the Cheeky Monkey's bar in the popular sea-side town at about 11pm on May 31. The last ping from his phone was recorded on June 1 around the Cape Bryon Lighthouse.
The month-long search including dogs and aircrafts has failed to locate his phone or clothing, which could hold the key to his whereabouts.
Theo's father Laurent Hayez thanked everyone who has helped look for his son during a media conference on Sunday.
"Thank you to all of you, thank you to the Australian people," he said.
"A beautiful country, a beautiful people."
Now Belgian police are expected to fly to Australia to accompany NSW Police in their search for the young backpacker.
Lisa Hayez, Theo's cousin who was already in Australia when he vanished, believes the two forces combined will help them find answers.
"It's going to help us, the most people on the case the better it is," Lisa told reporters in Byron Bay on Sunday.
"I know they're going to do it. If the Australian police and Belgian police work together it's going to be faster and everything. That's the point."
Lisa said Theo's family will remain in Australia indefinitely as the search continues.
"We don't plan to go home or anything," she said.
"We'll just see how we go."
Police conceded on Sunday that they are still struggling to determine what happened to Theo.
"Sadly we are no closer to knowing what happened to Theo but we will continue to work for the answers that his family so desperately need," Detective Chief Inspector Matt Kehoe said.
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