Family believes grey cap belongs to missing Belgian backpacker

The family of missing Belgian backpacker Theo Hayez believe a grey cap discovered in bushland near Byron Bay in July belongs to the 18-year-old, who disappeared in May this year.

The teen's disappearance after a night out at the popular backpackers' destination on May 31 was formally after weeks of unsuccessful police and community searches.

Backpacker Theo Hayez was last seen in Byron Bay in May.

Mr Hayez' family flew out from Belgium twice to join the search and raise awareness of his disappearance, but to date there has been no hint of his whereabouts.

On July 7, a grey cap was discovered during a search of bushland near Tallows Beach, close to one of the last locations where his mobile phone "pinged" following his disappearance.

On Saturday, an update about the cap was posted on a Facebook page dedicated to the search for Mr Hayez.

"Although no DNA results have been released publicly and may not be for some time, the family is certain that it is Theo’s hat," the post said.

The grey cap found in bushland off a Byron Bay beach that is believed to belong to missing backpacker Theo Hayez.

"The hat found was the exact same model and colour (grey, not black), shows the same wear and tear on the brim, and the position precisely matches one of his last known GPS locations.

"Thank you all for your patience in awaiting the formal results, and we hope that this post answers at least some of the questions you’ve had."

Mr Hayez was on an eight-month backpacking holiday around Australia, with Byron Bay his penultimate stop before returning home to Belgium.

After leaving a popular nightclub there late on the night of May 31, he was seen in CCTV footage about 15 minutes' walk from his hostel.

Belgian Police joined NSW Police for the last physical search for Theo Hayez.

But he never returned, and on June 6 the hostel raised the alarm after discovering his personal belongings untouched in his room after he was meant to check out.

Mr Hayez' disappearance to search for months alongside NSW Police, over land, air and sea.

Belgian police officers also flew over to work with NSW officers in the search, to no avail.

His family in which he greets his cousin, Lisa, at an airport baggage carousel.

"Theo is not just an image on a missing poster, he is a son, a brother, a cousin and friend. He is [a] beautiful young man in the prime of his life who has disappeared without a trace," the caption to the video said.


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