Search for missing Belgian backpacker to be suspended over the weekend
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    Search for missing Belgian backpacker to be suspended over the weekend

    Belgian backpacker Theo Hayez disappeared in Australia on 31 May. Credit: © Belga

    Australian police have decided to temporarily halt search operations for missing Belgian backpacker Théo Hayez, after a week of efforts yielded no results, local authorities announced Friday.

    A makeshift campsite found on Thursday near a Byron Bay lighthouse, where Hayez’s phone records were las detected, offered no substantial clues. The search will be suspended from Saturday, Matt Kehoe, lead inspector in the case, told Australian media.

    Police this week said they were “baffled” by the disappearance the 18-year-old student from Auderghem, who was last seen on May 31 as he was leaving an establishment in Byron Bay, a popular destination for backpackers in Australia.

    Following reports that Hayez may have had too much to drink on the night of his disappearance, police said they had started to consider the theory that he may have gone for a night swim.

    Since his disappearance was reported on June 6, an extensive search operation in which divers, climbers, volunteer search parties and local authorities have participated has uncovered no trace of the Belgian student.

    Kehoe said the weekend break would serve to review the week’s efforts, and that it remained to be seen whether the search would resume on Monday.

    Gabriela Galindo
    The Brussels Times