Belgian backpacker missing in Australia: new footage released
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Belgian backpacker missing in Australia: new footage released

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

Australian police have launched a call for witnesses as the search for Théo Hayez – a Belgian student gone missing in May while on a backpacking trip in Australia – continues on Monday.

The New South Wales Police Force released footage of when Hayez, 18, was last seen, alongside an appeal for public assistance on their Facebook page.

“We believe that somebody must have seen Theo after he left the licensed premises,” lead inspector in the case, Matthew Kehoe, said.

Reports of Hayez’s disappearance emerged on Friday. He was last seen at around 23:00 on May 31 at a hotel on Jonson Street, in Byron Bay, a popular destination for backpackers in Australia.

In the newly released footage, Hayez can be seen turning around a corner and walking down the street while using his mobile phone.

“I am appealing for anyone that has information or dashcam footage from Jonson or Tennyson streets (…) to come forward,” Kehoe said.

Local police were alerted of Hayez’s disappearance on June 6, after he did not return to his hostel and had not been heard of since the night of May 31.

“Serious concerns are held for his welfare as his passport and personal belongings were all located at the hostel,” the statement reads.

The 18-year-old student at Auderghem’s Athénée Royale had fixed plans to return to Belgium this week,  and his disappearance is described as “completely out of character for him,” in the police statement, as he was reportedly in constant contact with his family.

“Any information or sightings of Theo would be of great help to investigators,” Kehoe said, adding that no activity had been reported on Hayez’s phone records or bank accounts since his disappearance.

The Belgian embassy in Canberra is reportedly in close contact with local police in Byron Bay as the search for the young Belgian continues.

Gabriela Galindo
The Brussels Times