Police lead final physical searches for missing Belgian backpacker in Australia
Share article:
Share article:

Police lead final physical searches for missing Belgian backpacker in Australia

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

Specialised climbers joined authorities on Tuesday as they led the final search efforts for evidence that could shed a light into the disappearance of Théo Hayez, a Belgian student who vanished over a month ago while backpacking in Australia.

Volunteer parties also took part in the search, which again concentrated in the area of surrounding a lighthouse in Byron Bay, the Australian resort town where the 18-year-old was last seen on May 31.

A police source cited by Belgian media said the search should mark the last physical explorations of the area led by local authorities, after a Belgian police team arrived in the country on Saturday to assist in the investigation.

“At some point, there is no place left to look,” the police source said, adding that missing persons investigations tended to become 100% tactical as physical searching was “progressively” phased out of the investigation.

Authorities’ last search on Tuesday comes after volunteer search parties, joined by Laurent Hayez, the Belgian student’s father, continued scouring the area around the lighthouse at the weekend as Belgian and Australian police investigators retreated from the ground to analyse the evidence collected so far.

The three-person team sent by Belgian authorities will remain in Australia through Wednesday, and two criminal investigators sent from Sydney as reinforcements were expected to leave Byron Bay after Tuesday’s search.

Despite the extensive means deployed by local police to find Hayez, two security surveillance videos are the only piece of concrete evidence found since his disappearance was reported on June 6.

Gabriela Galindo
The Brussels Times

Latest news

Experts call for more widespread use of masks as figures rise
As coronavirus figures continue to rise, Belgian Prime Minister Alexander De Croo has suggested that people return to wearing masks when indoors with ...
Belgium wants to recover €420 million in wrongfully paid out coronavirus aid
The Belgian State intends to recover €420 million of unduly paid Covid-19 aid, La Libre Belgique reported on Thursday. The electronic Council of ...
Why the fight for transgender rights is polarising Europe 
Year after year, Samuel De Schepper would ask Santa Claus to bring him a penis for Christmas. Born female and attending an all girl’s Catholic ...
New offshore wind farm officially opened
Despite being operational since the end of 2020, the SeaMade offshore wind farm was officially inaugurated on Wednesday by Prime Minister Alexander ...
Contact tracers have no time for calls, only texts, amid rising cases
Contract tracers will no longer make phone calls to the high-risk contacts of people who test positive for the coronavirus beginning from Wednesday, ...
Belgium holds on to top spot in FIFA rankings despite recent losses
Once again, Belgium's Red Devils have held onto their position at the top of the world football rankings, according to an update released by the ...
Proximus pushes for high-speed internet in Brussels and Wallonia
Fifteen municipalities in Wallonia should soon have access to high-speed internet through the rollout of fibre optics in the region, telecoms giant ...
Why Belgium is regulating sex work
After decades of confusing rules and hypocritical policy, Belgium is finally regulating sex work by removing prostitution from the criminal law. ...
World’s largest chocolate warehouse opens in Flanders
On Thursday, Barry Callebaut – the largest global chocolate processor and manufacturer – opened the world's largest chocolate warehouse in Lokeren, ...
Belgium in Brief: Equal Opportunity To Dance
There's a phrase where I'm from, more often said in jest nowadays, but it came to my mind this morning: "Ye dancin'?" (Are you dancing?), one ...
Farmer discovers cocaine in banana boxes bought in Brussels
A Flemish farmer who purchased boxes of bananas at the market in Brussels on Tuesday came home to discover large amounts of cocaine packed among the ...
Changes to speed cameras increase likelihood of a ticket
Changes to the way speed cameras work in Flanders and Wallonia will increase the likelihood of receiving a ticket when cars pass them above the ...