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Australia

Missing backpacker's family pleads for WhatsApp access

The family of a missing Belgian backpacker has made an emotional plea to messaging platform WhatsApp to give police access to his final communications as the search continues in the Byron Bay area.

Theo Hayez, 18, went missing on May 31 and was last seen on CCTV about 15 minutes' walk from his Byron Bay hostel. On Monday, the search concentrated on the area surrounding the Cape Byron Lighthouse.

Theo Hayez's father, Laurent, with Theo's godfather Jean-Philippe Pector and cousin Lisa Hayez during the emotional press conference in Byron Bay.

Theo Hayez's father, Laurent, with Theo's godfather Jean-Philippe Pector and cousin Lisa Hayez during the emotional press conference in Byron Bay.Credit:Danielle Smith

Tweed Heads Superintendent David Roptell said investigators have asked WhatsApp for access to the backpacker's messages but have been unsuccessful so far. He described Theo's disappearance as "baffling".

Police have accessed mobile phone tower records from Byron Bay on the night Theo disappeared and said his mobile's final ping was recorded at 1.42pm on June 1, more than 12 hours after the last confirmed sighting.

Backpacker Theo Hayez is missing in Byron Bay.

Backpacker Theo Hayez is missing in Byron Bay.Credit:Facebook

Theo's father, Laurent Hayez, broke down as he made a heartfelt plea to WhatsApp and anyone who had information regarding his son's whereabouts to contact police.

More to come.

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