Skeletal remains found in Byron Bay are finally identified – but discovery doesn’t solve the mystery of missing backpacker Theo Hayez
- Police have identified skeletal remains belong to missing woman Thea Liddle
- Ms Liddle was last seen in Mooball area, on NSW north coast, in October
- She was reported missing in January and bones were found in bushland in July
- Ms Liddle was described as a person who lived a transient lifestyle
Skeletal remains found in bushland in Byron Bay belong to missing woman Thea Liddle, police have confirmed.
The bones were found at a makeshift camp site on the New South Wales north coast on July 15.
Ms Liddle, 42, was last seen in the Mooball area, between Byron Bay and Tweed Heads, in October, though was not reported missing until January.
Skeletal remains found in bushland in Byron Bay belong to missing woman Thea Liddle, police have confirmed
Ms Liddle was last seen in the Mooball area, between Byron Bay and Tweed Heads, in October, though was not reported missing until January
Tweed and Byron Police district commander, superintendent Dave Roptell, said Ms Liddle’s death was currently under investigation.
‘While the positive identification of these remains is a good result for Strike Force Holby detectives – it is also devastating news to Thea’s family and friends.’
‘While they can now lay Thea to rest, questions around the circumstances of her death remain under investigation.’
The identification of the remains comes after a police and rescue search of the area.
Police brought in sniffer dogs and rescue specialists to scour Byron Bay bushland while officers searched homeless camps where she was known to reside in the months before her disappearance.
Superintendent Dave Roptell, previously said Ms Liddle had lived a transient lifestyle.
‘Thea lived a very transient lifestyle – shifting from place to place, changing campsites often and would opt for places in remote bushland away from the public.’
The identification of the remains comes after a police and rescue search of the area on July 14
Superintendent Dave Roptell, previously said Ms Liddle had lived a transient lifestyle
One of the searched sites was a section of bushland around the Youth Activity Centre near Byron Bay’s town centre.
This was the same site police searched as part of investigations into the disappearance of Belgian Backpacker Theo Hayez.
The 18-year-old was in Australia on a working holiday visa and had gone out to Byron Bay’s popular nightclub Cheeky Monkey’s on May 31.
He was seen on CCTV leaving the bar, but his movements after that are unknown.
He never returned to the hostel where he was staying and it was not until June 6 – a week after he was last seen – that his family in Europe raised the alarm.
His father Laurent flew out to Australia to join other family members, police and local volunteers in the search for his son.
‘When I left Belgium I promised Hayez’s little brother, Lucas, I would bring his brother home, please help me keep my promise to him’, Laurent said on his arrival.
more to come