UPDATE | WhatsApp service cooperating to find Belgian backpacker missing from Byron

UPDATE @ June 18, 2019 | The encrypted messaging service WhatsApp say they are working with search crews to find the Belgian backpacker missing from Byron Bay.

18-year-old Theo Hayez has now been missing for two and a half weeks, as search crews scour the Byron Bay area and beyond.

Theo’s father, Laurent, flew in from Europe to join the search parties, landing in Australia yesterday morning.


ARTICLE CONTINUES AFTER THIS ADVERTISEMENT

He made an emotional plea for anyone with information to come forward and said that he promised Theo’s younger brother he wouldn’t return home without his son.

The devastated father also asked for the cooperation of the popular messaging app ‘WhatsApp’, because detectives had found that Theo was active on the app the night he went missing.

The app has reportedly handed over what information it can to authorities, though is only able to access and disclose certain information such as the user’s name, last seen date and an IP address.

Unfortunately, the content of the messages cannot be accessed, because they are encrypted.

Police and SES crews will continue the search this morning.

EARLIER @12.00pm, June 17 2019 | Detectives have released footage showing the missing 18-year-old Belgian backpacker on the night he went missing from Byron Bay.

It shows Theo Hayez at a convenience store about 7.45pm on Friday 31 May 2019, giving a clearer picture of the last known clothing he was wearing.

He was then last seen leaving a nightclub on Jonson Street around 11.00pm that night.

Tweed/Byron Police District Commander, Superintendent Dave Roptell said police are continuing to plea for any additional information into Theo’s whereabouts.

“Over the past week, the public has been actively involved in the search for Theo. Our detectives are continuing to go through all available information provided to us.

“It’s hoped this new CCTV may jog someone’s memory. Even if you think the information may be small, it may be the missing link we need to find Theo.

“We want to provide answers for his family both here in Australia and back at home in Belgium,” Superintendent Roptell said.

Theo’s father, Laurent Hayez, arrived in Australia this morning and has thanked the public for their support in searching for Theo.

“My family and I are very grateful for all the help in searching for our son.

“Theo is one of a kind, and we want to find him,” Mr Hayez said.

Police are continuing to appeal for public assistance, and for anyone who may have CCTV from surrounding areas.

Theo is described as being of Caucasian appearance, approximately 180cm to 190cm tall, with a thin build and blond hair.

He was last seen wearing a black hooded jumper with a distinct white design on the front, long beige pants, a cap and black shoes.

If you have information for Police, please contact NSW Police on 131 444 or provide information using their online form 24 hours per day. 

You can report also information about crime anonymously to Crime Stoppers by calling 1800 333 000 or via nsw.crimestoppers.com.au 24 hours per day. Crime Stoppers is a registered charity and community volunteer organisation.

EARLIER @ 6.00am, June 17 2019 | THE FATHER of a Belgian teenager, missing from the Byron Bay area, has arrived in Australia as the search for his son continues.

Lehore Hayez is expected to make a public statement this morning, in an attempt to prompt information regarding the whereabouts of his son, Theo.

The 18-year-old has not been seen since Friday 31 May. He has not contacted family or friends since then.

He also hasn’t used his mobile phone or made any financial transactions.

But Mr Hayez’s mobile phone records have helped investigators narrow down the search area to east of the Byron Bay CBD, and in and around bushland to the northeast.

His passport and other belongings were found untouched at the Wake Up! Hostel in Byron Bay, where staff raised the alarm when he didn’t check out as planned.

EARLIER @ June 12 2019 | POLICE are today using drones to search waters off Byron Bay as they ramp up their search for a missing Belgian backpacker.

18-year-old Theo Hayez, was last seen about 11pm on Friday 31 May 2019 but hasn’t been seen or heard from since.

Police hold serious concerns for Mr Hayez, as he left his passport and all his belongings at his hostel and he has made no financial transactions or used his phone since his disappearance.

Police, SES volunteers and members of the public have searched land areas across the east and northeast of the town tirelessly over the last week.

Today, police will be utilising a specialist drone, while being assisted by New South Wales Surf Lifesaving from the water at Belongil Beach.

Tweed/Byron Police District Chief Inspector Michael Dempsey has thanked the community for their efforts in searching for Theo.

“Police would like to acknowledge and thank the local State Emergency Services staff and community members who have searched tirelessly over the last three days. Also, thanks to community members for dropping off food and drinks at our search Command Post.

“Theo’s family and friends have been touched by the kindness of our local community. On behalf of Byron Bay Police, thank you for your efforts,” Chief Inspector Dempsey said.

Tweed/Byron Police are continuing to appeal for public assistance, to anyone who may have CCTV from surrounding areas from about 11pm on Friday 31 May 2019, or anyone with dashcam footage from Jonson or Tennyson streets to come forward.

“Any information or sightings of Theo would greatly assist investigators,” Chief Inspector Dempsey said.

Theo is described as being of Caucasian appearance, approximately 180cm to 190cm tall, with a thin build and blond hair. He was last seen wearing a black hooded jumper, beige pants and black shoes.

Anyone with information is urged to contact police.

If you have information for Police, please contact NSW Police on 131 444 or provide information using their online form 24 hours per day. 

You can report also information about crime anonymously to Crime Stoppers by calling 1800 333 000 or via nsw.crimestoppers.com.au 24 hours per day. Crime Stoppers is a registered charity and community volunteer organisation.

1
Leave a Reply

avatar
1 Comment threads
0 Thread replies
0 Followers
 
Most reacted comment
Hottest comment thread
1 Comment authors
Claire Recent comment authors
  Subscribe  
Notify of
Claire
Guest
Claire

Re missing back backer in Bryon Bay
I believe someone who he was talking to inside the club that evening had waited for him outside and taken him
Possibly asked him to go with him and he has
I am sure the police have interviewed all people in the club and carried out intense searches of their homes and surrounding areas for recent ground movement
He has not gone off alone he was with someone
Who is that person?