Drones used in search for missing Belgian backpacker in Australia

Drones used in search for missing Belgian backpacker in Australia
Theo Hayez, 18, was last seen on May 31 in Byron Bay, Australia. Credit: Belga

Police will employ drones to help locate a young Belgian backpacker gone missing in Australia, as authorities and local volunteers continue the search for young Théo Hayez on Wednesday.

The drones will fly over a beach in the vicinity of the Byron Bay hostel where Hayez was staying, and Hayez’s friends and local residents have formed volunteer search parties to assist authorities.

“[On Wednesday] police employed a special drone and enlisted the help of lifesavers in a search in Belongil beach,” a police spokesperson told local news agency AAP.

Hayez, an 18-year-old student from Auderghem, was last seen on May 31 as he was leaving an establishment in Byron Bay, a popular destination for backpackers in Australia.

On Monday, local police released footage of when Hayez was last seen, alongside an appeal for information from anyone who might have information on Hayez.

His disappearance was described as “completely out of character for him,” as he was reportedly in constant contact with his family and was set to return to Belgium at the start of June.

A crowdfunding campaign for Hayez’s family has collected over €15,000. The funds are meant to help fund his parents’ flight to Australia, as the search for the young Belgian student continues.

Gabriela Galindo
The Brussels Times

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