Theo Hayez’s family has not given up hope of finding the missing teenager as the one-year anniversary of his disappearance approached.
The Belgian backpacker disappeared on May 31 last year after leaving the bar of Cheeky Monkey in Byron Bay, northern New South Wales. He has not been seen or heard since.
Theo’s family, who have set up a new one website, Released a statement Monday evening begging everyone to bring up information.
“A year later, we think Théo’s story is much more than it came to light,” the statement said.
Theo Hayez was last seen leaving Cheeky Monkey’s bar in Byron Bay on May 31
Almost a year later, his family did not give up finding him. In the photo: Theo’s father Lehore Hayez (center) at a press conference in 2019
Theo’s family and friends, those living in Byron Bay and anyone concerned about the safety of young travelers, are eager to understand the full story of that night.
“We know that many people are struggling right now and we are so thankful for all the different ways people continue to show their support and love.”
Theo’s parents, Vinciane Delforge and Laurent Hayez, released their own statement on Monday saying they “really missed their son.”
“We have high hopes for the work of the coroner in New South Wales and his team of dedicated lawyers and we continue to believe that someone has information that could provide new evidence,” they said.
“We’re begging potential witnesses to come forward.
‘The support we get online counts a lot. We know that we are not alone and that any message, drawing or photo bearing Theo’s name comforts us and enables us to survive this ordeal. ‘
Search efforts for the 19-year-old have continued into 2020, with police conducting DNA tests on her found in Theo’s suspected gray cap, which was discovered in bushland near Tallows Beach.
Theo’s family thanked those involved in the search – and provided insight into the police investigation.
“Since the beginning of this year, we have spoken less publicly about developments,” the report reads.
“Far from giving up hope or dedication, the main reason is that due to the ongoing police process, we have to be careful what we say.
Theo (photo with his girlfriend) was traveling in Australia during a gap year after finishing school in Belgium
A gray Puma cap was found in bushland near Tallows Beach, with Theo’s family confirming the missing backpacker’s cap
“We think about Theo every minute and would like to share any information that can help find out what happened to him, but we have to be careful that we also give the police the best chance to find out.
“It breaks our hearts every day and we hope they will have some clarity for us soon. The police investigation is ongoing and we are grateful for that, but we have been asked not to provide details.
“There have been new searches and the police have provided us with the results of the DNA tests done on the two hairs in the cap.”
The hat was found by a member of the public in the same area where the last ping of Theo’s phone was recorded around the Cape Byron lighthouse on June 1.
Theo’s family is sure the hat is his, but DNA testing on the material was inconclusive.
They claimed that Theo was not alone on the night he disappeared.
Police officers look for Theo in the bushland at Tallows Beach in Byron Bay
The new website has helped the family expand their voice to reach a wider international audience to find any clues to track down Theo.
“We still believe that someone out there can help us find out what really happened by providing us with some information about that night,” the post continues.
The guiding theory in Theo’s disappearance is that he fell while trying to climb cliffs near Tallows Beach and his body washed away.
Theo was traveling in Australia during a gap year after finishing school in Belgium.
The police began a search by land, sea and air when they were seen by the staff of the Wake Up! Hostel in Byron Bay on June 6.
Data from Theo’s phone followed this route as his last known movements before disappearing on the night of May 31, 2019
The hostel staff sounds the alarm after his belongings, including his passport, are left untouched.
Theo’s father, Laurent Hayez, flew into Australia that month and made an emotional public appeal to help find his son.
“I promised Theo’s little brother that I would take his brother home. Please help me keep my promise to him, “he told reporters with tears at Tweed Heads police station.
Theo’s disappearance made headlines around the world and several volunteer groups formed to look for him.
The case was referred to the NSW medical examiner.