Missing Belgium backpacker Theo Hayez's father Laurent Hayez talks at a press conference at Tweed Heads flanked by Theo's godfather Jean-Phillippe Pector and Theo's cousin Lisa Hayez.
Missing Belgium backpacker Theo Hayez's father Laurent Hayez talks at a press conference at Tweed Heads flanked by Theo's godfather Jean-Phillippe Pector and Theo's cousin Lisa Hayez. Marc Stapelberg

Missing backpacker's family thank community

THE family missing Belgian backpacker Theo Hayez are forever grateful for the support the Byron Bay community has given them over the past two weeks, as the search for the 18-year-old continues.

Laurent Hayez, Theo's father who arrived in Australia last week to assist in the search for this son, said he was thankful for the "kindness" he and his family have received.

"I would like to thank the Byron community and all Australians for their welcome, logistical supports and their lovely kindness," Mr Hayez said.

"Thanks also to the SES and all the volunteers who have been searching for Theo."

The Byron Bay community has donated food and accommodation to the Hayez family and have been assisting police in the search for the missing teen.

Shortly after news spread of Theo's disappearance, family friends created a GoFundMe campaign to assist with the search.

The crowdfunding campaign has so far raised more than $62,000.

"Thank you for everyone who has given to the crowdfunding set up by our friends that has allowed me to come to Australia and is supporting us in our search for my son," Mr Hayez said.

"As soon as we have realised the success of the crowdfunding, Theo's mother and I agreed that any funds that remain when Theo is found will be split between one Belgian and one Australian charity dedicated to finding missing people."

Once again, Mr Hayez urged anyone with information to contact police immediately.

"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," he said.

"People have the power, let love rule."

To donate, visit www.gofundme.com/hkpub-retrouver-find-theo-byron-bay-australie.



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