Search for missing Belgian tourist Theo Hayez suspended by police
New South Wales Police have suspended the search for missing Belgian backpacker Theo Hayez, who disappeared in the Byron Bay area on 31 May.
However, the investigation into Mr Hayez’s disappearance is still ongoing, police say.
Tweed-Byron Police Commander Superintendent Dave Roptell said in a statement: “We met with Theo’s family today and we send our thoughts to them all, both here in Australia and abroad.”
Mr Hayez, 18, was last seen walking through Byron Bay after leaving the Cheeky Monkey’s bar at around 11:00pm on 31 May.
Police have been searching for Mr Hayez since he was reported missing on 6 June by staff at the Wake Up! hostel in Byron Bay.
The last “ping’ from Mr Hayez’s phone was recorded on 1 June in the area around the Cape Byron Lighthouse.
Local police officers, as well as SES volunteers, NSW Surf Lifesaving, the homicide squad and the Byron Bay community have been searching for the teen since his disappearance.
Superintendent Roptell thanked everyone who had helped search for Mr Hayez, saying: “It’s times like this which shows the strength of our community.”
Mr Hayez’s parents, Laurent Hayez and Vinciane Delforge, hosted a function in on Sunday, with media and Byron locals in attendance, thanking them for their efforts.
Lisa Hayez, Theo’s cousin, was also in attendance and has been in Byron since the search started.
“We’re never going to thank them enough,” Ms Hayez said.
“Thanks to them so much for everything. They keep us alive. If we’re here now, not crying in bed and everything, it’s just thanks to them.”
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