Missing Belgian backpacker Theo Hayez.
Missing Belgian backpacker Theo Hayez. Contributed

Byron community won't give up on Theo Hayez

THE resilience of the Byron Bay community grows stronger despite the news police have suspended the search for missing Belgian backpacker Theo Hayez.

NSW Police yesterday announced they would no longer be conducting a physical search of the Byron area for the missing 18-year-old, but would continue investigating his disappearance.

Theo was last seen leaving Cheeky Monkeys Bar on Jonson St, Byron Bay, about 11pm on May 31 and was reported missing to police on June 6 when he failed to return to his hostel and could not be contacted or located.

Police carried out an extensive land, sea and air search from June 8 between Belongil and Cape Byron towards Tallows Beach but unfortunately nothing was discovered to assist with the investigation.

Theo's family arrived shortly after the search began to assist police with their investigation.

But it was the community spirit in the days that followed Theo's disappearance that have left a lasting mark.


Community volunteers spent many hours trawling through bushland in search of any sign of Theo or his belongings.

At its peak, the community search party had 115 people volunteer their time to help police.

And while police have suspended their official search, the community aren't giving up hope.

Topographers, oceanographers and drone experts have also lent a hand in the community search by providing their skills.

A Brisbane security expert, George Maloukis, posted on the Looking For Theo Hayez Facebook group he hoped others would continue to join him in searching for the missing teen.

"Volunteers are now needed more then ever given the police have now called off their search," Mr Maloukis said.

"With the police search being called off, the amazing volunteers are still searching, so please grab a friend a mate, a group and join in to help find this young man."

While there is no official community-led search for Theo planned for today, organisers are trying to coordinate a plan for the weekend.

Meanwhile, many people have shared their support for Theo's family, police and the community with many wishing something with show up.

"I'm so sorry for the family, I hope someone gives answers to his whereabouts," Carla Evans wrote.

Sue Kinder said: "Very, sad thoughts are with his family".

Donna Marie said: "This is so very very sad".

Theo is of Caucasian appearance, about 180-190cm tall, with a thin build and blonde hair.

He was last seen dressed in a black hooded jumper, beige pants and black shoes.

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