New CCTV footage emerges of missing Belgian teen
THE father of missing Belgian backpacker Theo Hayez is pleading with the community for any information into the disappearance of his son, as police remained "baffled" by the lack of evidence in the case.
Theo, 18, was last seen leaving Cheeky Monkeys Bar on Jonson St, Byron Bay about 11pm on May 31 but wasn't reported missing to police until June 6 when he failed to check out of his backpacker accommodation in Belongil.
Since then, police have been conducting a wide-scale land, sea and air search for the backpacker, who had planned to return to Belgium last week after eight months of travelling Australia.
Theo's father, Laurent Hayez, arrived in Australia last week to assist with the search and today appealed to the public for any information that could lead to finding his son.
"When I left Belgium, I promised Theo's little brother that I would bring his brother home. Please help me keep my promise to him," Mr Hayez said.
"If you have any information and if you do not want to deal with the cops or you are afraid to come forward, please make an anonymous call to crime stoppers on 1800 333 000."
Police are currently trying to gain access to Theo's WhatsApp account as it is believed he was using the private messaging service the night of his disappearance.
"We know that Theo used WhatsApp the night he disappeared, we understand the politics about confidentiality and we respect that however, this is a question of providing assistance to a person in grave danger," Mr Hayez said.
"It is vital that the investigators get access to Theo's WhatsApp account without delay, every minute counts."
Tweed Byron Police District Superintendent Dave Roptell said the search would today be focussed on the Cape Byron Headland, near the lighthouse.
Supt Roptell said new CCTV footage of Theo on the night he disappeared showing the 18-year-old in a bottle shop in Byron Bay at about 7.45pm with a friend, along with the footage previously released of Theo leaving Cheeky Monkeys about 11pm on May 31, are the only pieces of clear footage they have of him from that night.
"In that footage you will see a grey hat, you'll see a black jumper, khaki pants and black shoes," Supt Roptell said.
"I know there's a lot of other information out there about unconfirmed sightings but that I can categorically say from the information we have been going through tirelessly that that is the only bit of information we have that can confirm us sighting Theo.
"That's it. Anything else I cannot categorically confirm."
Supt Roptell said anyone with possible dashcam footage or CCTV footage from May 31 to the early hours of June 1 should contact police.
"We want to get as much information as possible," he said.
"Any information is great information whether it's credible or not we will decide that once we receive that information.
"Police have spoken to a number of potential witnesses who may have last seen Theo."
Police are continuing to investigate reports Theo's phone was possibly in the location of a phone tower near the lighthouse about 1.40pm on June 1.
"We want to make sure the search is extensive around the Byron Bay area and not just focusing on one particular area," Supt Roptell said.
"We do know that his phone may have been bouncing off towers at that time and we're going down that line of inquiry around that area.
"We haven't got specific locations, we've got a wide range of areas.
"We believe his phone might have been in sleep mode."
More information to come.