BREAKING NEWS: Police call off search for missing Belgian backpacker Theo Hayez more than three weeks after he vanished in Byron Bay
- Theo Hayez, 18, was last seen leaving the Cheeky Monkey bar at night on May 31
- The Belgian backpacker disappeared more than three weeks ago in Byron Bay
- Last ‘ping’ from his phone was recorded on June 1 near Cape Byron Lighthouse
The desperate search for missing Belgian backpacker Theo Hayez who disappeared more than three weeks ago in Byron Bay has been suspended.
Theo, 18, was last seen leaving the holiday town’s Cheeky Monkey bar at about 11pm on May 31 and has not been seen or heard since.
The last ‘ping’ from his phone was recorded on June 1 in the area around the Cape Byron Lighthouse at 1.40am
A halt to the search comes as his father thanked the local community for their support.
Police previously released footage showing Mr Hayez walking from the Cheeky Monkey’s nightclub wearing a black hooded jumper, beige pants and black shoes (pictured)
Theo Hayez (pictured), 18, was staying at the WakeUp! hostel when he disappeared on the night of May 31
Police, State Emergency Service volunteers and members of the public were joined on Friday by police divers, who continued the search in the Tallow Beach area.
While New South Wales police suspended the search for Saturday and Sunday, detectives will continue to go through information provided to officers.
Police will reassess whether the physical search will resume on Monday.
A campsite in a bush was discovered in the Byron Bay hills near The Pass – the same area where Theo’s phone last pined, Dutch newspaper HLN reported on Thursday.
A missing persons poster is seen plastered to a sign on the entrance to a beach
A bush camp has been discovered in the desperate search for missing Belgian backpacker Theo Hayez
Theo’s father Laurent Hayez reached out to thank Byron Bay locals for their support.
‘Your warmness and kindness is like a balm on our bleedin’ heart,’ Mr Hayez posted to a group for the Byron Bay community on Friday night.
‘You give us force and faith. We love u from the earth to the moon (What Theo told me one evening in his bed at age of five) … ‘
Mr Hayez on Monday made an emotional plea for help, begging encrypted chat service WhatsApp to grant police access to his son’s final known conversations.
The company provided what information they could but were unable to access the content of the messages, AAP understands.
Belgian police are also working in Europe to speak with people Theo may have contacted in his final known hours.
More than $70,000 has been raised via a GoFundMe page for the Hayez family, part of which was used to help Mr Hayez fly to Australia.
Theo Hayez, 18, was staying at the WakeUp! hostel (pictured) when he disappeared on the night of May 31