The body of up-and-coming NRL star Liam Hampson was found in an “internal patio” closed to the public at a Spanish nightclub, it has been revealed.
The popular Redcliffe Dolphins player was last seen by friends at the Sala Apolo music club in Barcelona at 4.30am on Tuesday.
He was missing for 30 hours before police confirmed that his ‘lifeless body’ had been found in the same nightclub Wednesday afternoon (Barcelona time) after falling ten meters.
After failing to provide a detailed explanation of why workers at the popular club took so long to raise the alarm, Mossos d’Esquadra regional police officers told the 24-year-old where he was.
“It was in an internal patio that was not part of the public area of the nightclub,” the police officer told the Daily Mail Australia.
“I don’t know how he would have gotten into that part of the building, but he got in and fell from there about 30 feet into a courtyard.
“The fact that it was not a public space explains why the workers who sounded the alarm did not do so until Wednesday afternoon local time.”
The body of emerging NRL star Liam Hampson was found in an ‘internal patio’ in a Spanish nightclub closed to the public
Police said Hampson’s death was considered an accident in the early stages of the investigation.
The officer could not confirm the circumstances of Hampson’s fall, whether it was from a window, a hallway or the stairs, but only said the height was about 10 meters.
Well-placed sources said they expected the autopsy to take place in the next few hours.
The results of autopsies are not normally made public in Spain and in this case will be sent directly to the court investigating Hampson’s death.
It comes after the chilling final photo emerged of Hampson partying with friends at the overcrowded club just hours before disappearing.
Broncos star Jordan Riki – who was on holiday with Hampson along with fellow Brisbane player Jesse Arthars and Titans fullback Alexander ‘AJ’ Brimson – can be seen in the foreground wearing a white shirt kissing a woman on the cheek.
To the left of the pair, Liam appears frozen in time, smiling broadly and wearing one of his favorite caps.
Liam Hampson, 24, is pictured (right) on his night out at Spanish nightclub Sala Apolo – just hours before he disappeared at 4.30am on Tuesday
The terrifying final snap comes as new details emerge about the frantic 30-hour quest to find Hampson as friends and family from Australia and Spain joined forces to find the young man.
In the hours after Hampson’s disappearance, his sister Tiarna jumped online to ask people in Barcelona to ‘please watch out for Liam’.
She said the alarm was raised when he could not be found after the group left Sala Apolo early Tuesday morning.
He was last seen leaving a nightclub with friends and then… [they] lost each other,” she wrote.
Friends on the Europe trip also flocked online to share a missing person message, which showed Hampson in his last known outfit: a cap, black shirt and beige shorts.
‘Cannot be contacted and no one [has] saw him for 24 hours,” Riki posted on Instagram.
“Any info is much appreciated.”
The disturbing news quickly made its way back to Australia as other friends Down Under shared photos of the footballer and asked anyone with information on his whereabouts to contact him.
“Hi friends, I’m trying to get in touch with our buddy Liam Hampson. Currently in Spain,” Bryce Donovan wrote.
Liam Hampson was found dead on the floor by staff at the venue at the Sala Apolo nightclub in Barcelona (pictured). He reportedly fell from a height of 10 meters
The rising NRL star is in the picture with his mother Lorna Morton on Mother’s Day this year
Hampson’s sister Tiarna kept hoping her brother was safe in a Facebook post on Wednesday
“If anyone can contact me or know any updates, please let me know.”
In the comments, Tiarna thanked Mr Donovan for raising awareness that her brother was missing, but said she believed he was safe and sound.
“Thank you, I’m sure we’ll find him safe soon!” she wrote.
Mr Donovan replied: ‘Here to help, I’m sure he will contact you shortly!!’
Hampson is pictured with his sister Tiarna
Many people said they shared the post in hopes that their friends in Barcelona can shed light on his location.
An Australian woman currently traveling in the city offered to keep an eye out, while another woman said her friend in Spain would share the mail with local hostels.
Others advised friends and family to share the post in local Hispanic and travelers Facebook groups.
Another person suggested that Hampson may have lost his phone and wished the family that he would be found soon.
“Barcelona is at the center of pickpocketing, it’s easy to get lost in it and everyone speaks Spanish,” she wrote.
“My boyfriend lost his phone while going out while we were there and I didn’t hear from him for three days. Let’s just hope his phone has just been stolen and will find his friends soon.”
But three hours after Donovan’s post, the search came to a tragic end when Hampson’s body was found in the club.
The discovery came just hours after hundreds of revelers gathered in the hall on Tuesday evening to watch English gothic metal band Paradise Lost.
Tributes poured in for Hampson as devastated loved ones confirmed the news of his death online.
Liam Hampson (right) in Paris watching Lionel Messi play football
Liam Hampson (right) traveled across Europe with NRL star AJ Brimson (left) and other friends. The photo shows the couple enjoying the sights of Amsterdam
“Waking up to the news no one wants to hear, we are devastated to find that Liam was in an accident and sadly did not survive,” his father Brett posted on Facebook.
“We are heartbroken to say the least. Liam had a heart of gold and was a much loved son, brother, grandson, uncle and friend. Words cannot express our sorrow.
“We can’t thank his friends enough for having the time of his life there with Liam and helping them find our boy. Our thoughts are with them.’
Just hours after Tiarna made a desperate appeal to find him, Tiarna wrote a similar tribute.
“We are so broken,” she wrote.
“Liam was the best brother I could have ever asked for and made me a better person. We cannot express our sorrow.
“We can’t thank the guys he traveled with enough for assisting in his quest and making sure his last days were the best of his life.
Liam Hampson (far right) with his Aussie buddies during the European trip. Police are treating his death as a tragic accident
“I’m going to miss you so much, Liam.”
The family has asked for privacy as they process the heartbreaking loss.
Hampson and his group of friends have posted dozens of photos from their adventure travels over the past month, including snaps from Paris, Ibiza, Amsterdam, Munich and Positano in Italy.
Hampson played hooker for the Redcliffe Dolphins and recently helped his side to the Queensland Cup grand final, where they were narrowly beaten 16-10 by the Norths Devils.
The Dolphins will make their NRL debut next season under the helm of coaching legend Wayne Bennett.
Hampson is not one of the club’s top teams.
TIMELINE OF LIAM HAMPSON’S REFERRAL (TIME IN BARCELONA)
12 o’clock: Honey Bunny + Bass Bunny start their set in Sala Apolo
4.30 am: Liam Hampson was last seen at the bar in a black t-shirt, light-colored shorts and a baseball cap
5 hours: Honey Bunny + Bass Bunny finish their performance
19:00: Doors open for the Lost Paradise performance
7:45 pm: Obsidian Kingdom opens the music show
9 o’clock in the evening: Paradise Lost begins their set. It is not clear what time the set will end.
Around 12 noon: Sala Apolo employees find Hampson’s body on the floor in part of the nightclub