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Twist in search for Theo Hayez as cousin suggests the backpacker could have been spiked

Theo Hayez’s cousin suggested the Belgian backpacker could have been on drugs when he disappeared, after tracing his unusual route to the beach. 

Theo was last seen leaving the Cheeky Monkey’s nightclub in the New South Wales tourist town of Byron Bay after being asked to leave at 11pm on May 31.

But instead of returning to his accommodation at WakeUp! Hostel, the teenager opted for a strange path through bushland and to the beach.  

Theo’s cousins Lisa Hayez and Michael Dorkhom joined The Australian’s podcast The Lighthouse to follow the backpacker’s final footsteps recorded by his Google data.  

Theo’s cousins Lisa Hayez (left with Theo) and Michael Dorkhom joined The Australian’s Lighthouse Podcast to follow his final footsteps recorded by his Google data

After scouring through the bushland, the group followed Theo’s movements to the northern end of Tallow Beach, at Cosy Corner.

The data shows Theo climbed a steep hill through the dense bushland a few minutes before midnight. 

He then stopped for about five minutes, in a spot hidden by vines, before moving on. 

The group were perplexed by Theo’s speed moving back down the steep hill to Cosy Corner and why he would have found himself in the hidden among the foliage in the first place.

Lisa agreed his movements suggested he was ‘on something’ as it was difficult to fathom how Theo would move so quickly through an area he didn’t know.  

‘When you are on MD or acid or anything, you just go and you don’t think about what you’re doing,’ Lisa told the podcast.  

Theo was last seen leaving the Cheeky Monkey's nightclub in the New South Wales tourist town of Byron Bay after being asked to leave at 11pm on May 31

Theo was last seen leaving the Cheeky Monkey’s nightclub in the New South Wales tourist town of Byron Bay after being asked to leave at 11pm on May 31 

Instead of returning to his accommodation at WakeUp! Hostel, Theo walked through bushland to the beach

Instead of returning to his accommodation at WakeUp! Hostel, Theo walked through bushland to the beach

Lisa, who is aware that Theo was not known to use drugs, then hypothesised ‘someone put something in his drink’. 

Before reaching the beach, the group walked through the dense bushland at Arakwal National Park. 

They met with 62-year-old Tommy Volk, who occupies an illegal campsite in the park. 

Mr Volk said he had not seen Theo on the evening he disappeared but his father had come to visit.

Pictured: Dense bushland Theo would have travelled through on the evening he disappeared

Pictured: Dense bushland Theo would have travelled through on the evening he disappeared

The group also followed Theo's movements to the northern end of Tallow Beach, at Cosy Corner

The group also followed Theo’s movements to the northern end of Tallow Beach, at Cosy Corner

‘This is a jungle, you know. Fallen trees everywhere, you got to duck your head all the time becau­se you might poke out your eye. You got to be real careful walking around here,’ he told the podcast.

‘At night you need a torch because this place is black, black, you can’t see anything. I suggest don’t walk here at night.’

Theo veered around Mr Volk’s campsite, leading Byron resident Nicoletta Revis to believe the teenager was walking through the area with someone who knows it well. 

After Theo made it through the bushland, he walked a worn path to the sand of the beach. There are remnants of another well-­established illegal campsite at the sand dunes nearby.   

The data shows Theo climbed a steep hill through the dense bushland a few minutes before midnight. He then stopped for about five minutes, in a spot hidden by vines

The data shows Theo climbed a steep hill through the dense bushland a few minutes before midnight. He then stopped for about five minutes, in a spot hidden by vines

Theo was last seen leaving the Cheeky Monkey’s nightclub in the New South Wales tourist town of Byron Bay after being asked to leave at 11pm on May 31. 

Google Timeline logs showed Theo left the bar and walked away from the main street of town, turning from Johnson St down Kingsley St into a dark, quiet, residential area. 

Theo then turned left onto Tennyson St and followed the road up towards bushland near the Youth Activity Center and Byron Bay Recreational Grounds.

Theo (pictured with his girlfriend) had searched how to get to WakeUp! Hostel during the evening but continued to move in the opposite direction

Theo (pictured with his girlfriend) had searched how to get to WakeUp! Hostel during the evening but continued to move in the opposite direction 

He left from here, heading east and away from his hostel through more residential streets, before arriving at the Milne Track, which is an access track through bushland to Tallow Beach. 

Theo followed the Milne Track before making a wayward turn to the north, and battled through thick bushland at midnight before reaching the sand at Tallow.

He made his way along the sand to Cosy Corner at the northern end of Tallow beneath the cliff under the lighthouse before his GPS signal shut off. 

The podcast also revealed Theo had searched how to get to WakeUp! Hostel during the evening but continued to move in the opposite direction.  

THE TIMELINE OF THEO HAYEZ’S DISAPPEARANCE

May 31st 7.45pm: Theo Hayez and an unnamed friend were caught on CCTV camera at a local bottle shop in Byron Bay.

May 31st 11pm: The last confirmed sighting of Hayez. He was spotted leaving the Cheeky Monkey bar and appeared to be heading in the direction of the WakeUp! Backpacker hostel where he was staying.

June 1st AM: The last confirmed WhatsApp message was sent from Theo’s phone.

June 1st 1:42pm: Theo’s phone pinged for the last time.

June 6th: Theo was reported missing to local police .

June 9th: Police conducted a major land, sea and air search in the Byron Bay area with the assistance of rescue officers, the State Emergency Service, a lifesaver helicopter and lifesavers.

June 10th: Locals and other backpackers joined in the search for Theo.

June 10th-June 16th: SES crews, the dog squad, lifeguards, local volunteers and police are continuing to search the Byron Bay headlands, east and north of the town, as well as beaches and swamps. 

June 16th: Theo’s mother Vinciane Delforge, told a French broadcaster in Belgium she is holding out hope her son is safe and well, but said his disappearance is entirely out of character.

June 17th: Theo’s father Laurent Hayez travels to Byron Bay to help search for his son Theo. He makes an emotional plea asking Australia to keep looking for his son and vows to stay in the country until he is found.

He says he hopes WhatsApp will cooperate with police to decode the messages that Theo last sent – a feat, he says, which could change the course of the search. 

Police confess they are still ‘baffled’ by the case, and are keeping all lines of inquiry open.

Homicide detectives join in on the search for Theo.

July 3rd:  NSW Police announce the full-scale search for the teenager had been called off, but investigations are ongoing.

July 12th: Theo’s heartbroken father flies home. 

July 17th: Top forensic psychologist Tim Watson-Munro says believes Theo could have been the victim of an unknown serial killer, along with two 20-year-old backpackers who went missing on the NSW north coast months prior.

July 18th: Theo’s parents reveal they believe he is still alive and are holding out hope he is in a commune. 

August: A dedicated group of Byron Bay locals have brought in cadaver dogs to search for missing Belgian tourist Theo Hayez.

The dogs and their handlers scoured bushland in the Arakwal National Park including Tallow Beach.

September: Theo’s father Laurent Hayez arrives back in Australia to continue his search for his son.

September 16th: Police call off the search for Theo and refer his case to the coroner.

October 13th: Theo’s family confirm a cap found in dense bushland near to where the missing backpacker’s phone last ‘pinged’ belonged to him. 

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk


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