News, Culture & Society

Theo Hayez’s Google search moments before vanishing as backpacker insists Belgian teen WASN’T drunk 

Theo Hayez, 18, enjoyed one last night out in Byron Bay on May 31, 2019, before he mysteriously vanished and was never seen again. 

7.45pm: Theo Hayez and new Belgian friend Antoine Van Laetham were caught on CCTV camera at the Great Northern Hotel bottle shop in Byron Bay. 

8pm: Theo pays for an Uber back to the the WakeUp! Hostel and drinks goon (cheap cask wine) with other backpackers. The wine was so bad, they later said no-one drank much of it.

9.25pm: Theo and backpackers leave the hostel in two shuttle bosses to head into town. He drinks two schooners at Cheeky Monkey’s bar, one bought at 9.51pm and another at 10.14pm. 

10:44pm: He is seen dancing on a table.

10.55pm: He goes to the toilet and stays there for five minutes. He was seen swaying by security guards as he left the toilet and told to leave.

11.03pm: The last confirmed sighting of Hayez. He was spotted leaving Cheeky Monkey’s bar after being ejected for appearing drunk. The backpackers he was with were unaware he had been kicked out. 

Theo is seen on CCTV outside the bar googling directions to his hostel, but walks off in the opposite direction on a bitterly cold night.

11.15pm: He stops at some nearby cricket nets and stays there for seven minutes. 

11.30pm: About 1km from the bar, he again googles directions to his hostel. However he instead leaves the streets of Byron to walk through dense bush along the dark Milne Track towards Tallow Beach, sometimes appearing to run or walk quickly, according to Google data.

11.39pm: He again googles directions to his hostel while in the thick scrub but then heads down towards Tallow Beach, off the trail, through even denser bush, losing his cherished Puma baseball cap in the process.

11.49pm: He googles directions for his hostel again after reaching the beach but walks along the sand towards Cosy Corner Beach, about 1.2km away.

11.56pm: He walks past Cosy Corner, back up the hillside into the rugged headland bush, and stays there for eight minutes. 

12.05am, June 1: After returning to the beach, he turns off location services on his phone, apparently to save battery. For the next hour, he sends light-hearted messages to friends and family, and watched videos on his phone.

12.55am: Theo sends his stepsister Emma a WhatsApp message in French, his final recorded contact with anyone. 

1.02am: His phone suddenly stops receiving data.

6.17am: Theo’s phone starts receiving data again.  

1:47pm: Theo’s phone stops receiving data for the last time and has never been found since.

June 6: Theo was reported missing to local police.