Father of Belgian backpacker missing in Australia appeals for help

SYDNEY – The father of an 18-year-old Belgian backpacker made a heart-rending appeal for help finding his son on Monday (June 17), as Australian police admitted they were “baffled” by his disappearance from a picturesque surf town.

Mr Theo Hayez was last seen on May 31 at a hotel in Byron Bay, 750km north of Sydney.

New South Wales state police were alerted to his disappearance on June 6 after he failed to return to the hostel where he was staying, and have scoured bushland and off the coast to no avail.

“I promised Theo’s little brother, Lucas, that I would bring his brother home. Please, help me keep my promise to him,” father Laurent Hayez said, struggling to be heard through tears.

Meanwhile, police superintendent David Roptell announced the release of footage of the teenager buying alcohol at a store on May 31 in the hope it would jolt people’s memories.

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