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Theo Hayez: Police reveal leading theory about teen missing in Byron Bay NSW

BREAKING NEWS: Shock new theory about Theo Hayez’s disappearance is revealed by police at inquest – and there’s ‘NO evidence’ it was suicide or that he was interested in drugs

Police investigating the disappearance of Belgian teenager Theo Hayez have revealed their main theory for his disappearance was that he tried to climb the cliffs at a beach, fell and was swept out to sea.

Kellie Edwards, the counsel assisting the inquest into the missing 18-year-old told the NSW Coroners Court in Byron Bay the coronial investigation has found no evidence he was reckless, engaged in dangerous physical activity, or was particularly interested in alcohol or drugs.

It comes as the inquest heard Hayez was ejected from a bar in the holiday town without a chance to tell his friends on the night he vanished two years ago.

Theo was near the end of a backpacking trip around Australia when he went missing on the night of May 31, 2019.

His remains have never been found, nor have his phone or clothes. A hat he was wearing was found in bushland on the route he walked after being kicked out of the Cheeky Monkey’s bar. 

Theo Hayez vanished in Byron Bay, NSW, two years ago 

Ms Edwards told the NSW Coroners Court that police’s working theory is he tried to climb cliffs at Cosy Corner beach, fell and was swept out to sea.

Although his phone hasn’t been recovered, it continued to send a weak signal until the next afternoon. 

He was close with his family, had good, close relationships with friends and was looking forward to starting the next phase of his life when he returned home, an engineering degree. 

There is ‘no evidence at all’ to suggest he would kill himself, Ms Edwards said. 

Theo had consumed some cheap ‘goon’ wine at his hostel with fellow backpackers before heading out to Cheeky Monkey’s about 9pm. 

While there, he had two schooners of beer. CCTV footage shown to the court showed the occasional stumble, but the evidence he was actually intoxicated was ‘ambiguous’, Ms Edwards said. 

The backpackers he was at the bar with only learned he’d been ejected by security around 11pm during the police investigation. They were confused when they learned about it, Ms Edwards said. 

‘Theo didn’t seem drunk and others in the bar seemed much more drunk,’ they told investigators, Ms Edwards said. 

He only had contact details for one of the people he was with. Theo’s ejection on his own, without any chance to tell his friends, had caused his family great distress, she said. His family, some of whom have flown in from Belgium, are sitting in the courtroom observing the proceedings. 

Google account data shows Theo searched for directions back to his hostel after his ejection. However, he walked in the opposite direction to Tallow Beach. 

The last data point put him at Cosy Corner. He appears to have turned off his location services just after midnight to save battery. 

The last messages sent to his friends and family were lighthearted and in French, suggesting he had his phone on him and that he felt safe, Ms Edwards said. 

The last message was sent to his stepsister Emma at 12.55am. 

The inquest into his disappearance is expected to run for two weeks. 

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