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    Belgian backpacker (18) missing in Australia

    Theo Hayez, 18, was last seen on May 31 in Byron Bay, Australia. Credit: supplied

    The family of the young Belgian Théo Hayez (18) from Brussels is worried for his safety after he went missing while on a backpacking trip in Australia.

    Hayez hasn’t been heard from since 31 May, despite having had almost daily contact with his family, and fixed plans to return to Belgium this week, according to reports in Belgian and Australian media. As a result, the police of Byron Bay, in Australia, has launched an investigation into the disappearance.

    The 18-year-old student at the Athénée Royale in Auderghem was last seen when he left a bar in Byron Bay on 31 May. There has been no sign of him since, and no contact with family or friends.

    The youth hostel where he had a room had also informed the police as the young man has not returned to his room since the day he went missing, despite his personal belongings remaining in the room.

    “We’ve spoken to some family members and he’s normally very punctual in response to social media posts and we haven’t got any of those since that time which is of concern to us and the family,” said Matt Kehoe of the local police to ABC.

    “Certainly from our inquiries, we do have concerns,” he added.

    Hayez arrived in Australia late last year on a working holiday visa and was due to fly home to Belgium just a week after his disappearance.

    The Brussels Times