It’s been exactly one year since Belgian backpacker Théo Hayez disappeared from Byron Bay.
What happened to the much-loved 18-year-old remains a mystery, with widespread searches and police investigations failing to find any trace of him or his possessions.
Theo was last seen leaving the popular Cheeky Monkey Bar in Byron Bay on Friday, May 31, 2019.
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CCTV footage shows the 18-year-old walking through the streets of Byron while also visiting a bottle shop.
According to police, the teenager’s mobile phone last pinged near the lighthouse at Cape Byron, but numerous searches of the area have failed to provide any answers.
Investigators from the Tweed and Byron Police District released a statement this morning, acknowledging the first anniversary of the disappearance of Theo.
“We would like to thank the community for their continued support,” the statement reads.
“Detectives are continuing their inquiries as they prepare a brief of evidence on behalf of the NSW Coroner.”
The date for a coronial inquest has not yet been revealed.
Despite the police investigation into Theo’s disappearance formally ending, detectives say they are “actively engaged” with the NSW Coroner’s Court as well as Theo’s family and friends here in Australia and in Belgium to “ensure answers are provided to Theo’s loved ones.”
“Officers would like to particularly thank and acknowledge the support of the volunteers and Byron Bay community members who have assisted over the past 365 days in the search for Theo.”
Theo’s family took to the Looking for Théo Hayez Facebook page yesterday, encouraging people to join them in honouring the teen.
“Tomorrow, May 31st, will be one year since Théo disappeared,” the post said.
“To acknowledge this date, to honour Théo, his family and friends, and to convey our steadfast quest for answers, we will be hosting a live stream on the Looking for Théo Hayez Facebook page.
“We invite you to join us in watching the magnificent Byron Bay sunset at 4.45pm AEST (8.45am in Belgium). Then, after a short break, we will return at approximately 5.15pm (9.15am in Belgium) to share something very special with you all…”