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Police suspend search for Belgian backpacker missing in Australia search

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Australian police have suspended their search operation for Belgian backpacker Theo Hayez, who went missing in the popular tourist town of Byron Bay on May 31.

New South Wales Police said they met with Hayez’s family on Wednesday, informing them about the suspension of the operation after almost a month of searching.

The 18-year-old was getting ready to return home after eight months travelling around Australia.

Police have said his disappearance from the eastern coastal town in New South Wales has “baffled” them.

Hayez’s father, Laurent Hayez, arrived in Australia mid June for the search, as well as three officers from the Belgian Federal Police to support the investigation in an observer capacity.

The young backpacker was last seen leaving the Cheeky Monkey’s bar in Byron Bay on the night of May 31. There is also CCTV footage of him buying alcohol at a shop earlier that night.

After he failed to show up at his hostel and was unreachable, he was reported missing to the police on June 6.

New South Wales Police said they had received assistance from the homicide squad, emergency workers, volunteers and Byron Bay community to conduct “extensive land, air and sea searches since this date.”

While police have suspended the full scale physical search, the investigations are ongoing, said the police, who are still in the dark without any leads or information on his whereabouts.

dpa/NAN

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