Byron community vows to continue searching for Theo Hayez
THE mystery surrounding the disappearance of Belgian backpacker Theo Hayez has been referred to the NSW Coroner.
Tweed Byron Police District redirected their case to the coroner on Monday, more than three months after the 18-year-old was last seen leaving Cheeky Monkeys Bar in Byron Bay on May 31.
In the weeks that followed his disappearance, police and community members searched far and wide for any clues to explain his out-of-character disappearance to no avail.
Assisting with the search for Theo, Sheri D'Rosario said the community would not give up hope the backpacker will be found despite a report being prepared for the coroner.
"We'll definitely be continuing to do some work with Theo's family as there are still many unanswered questions," Ms D'Rosario.
"But we have hope that the coronial process will bring new information and a greater understanding of what might have happened."
After the community gathered on Sunday at Clarkes Beach at sunset for a candle light vigil in Theo's honour, those involved in the search were alerted yesterday to the coronial report via Facebook on the Looking for Theo Hayez page.
"It's important to understand that this is a standard process in NSW and signifies progress," the statement said.
"It presents us with the opportunity for much-needed expertise, insight and a fresh perspective and we sincerely welcome the participation of the Coroner.
"Now, more than ever, we need to stay united as we embark on this new chapter - a step closer to finding Théo."
Almost 100 people responded to the statement, with many sharing their support for those looking for Theo.
Deb Rob said she also thinks about Theo "every day".
"I hope that answers are found for his family," she wrote.
Meanwhile, Nic Lewissy said he really admired how the community continues to support Theo's family during this time.
"It really is now up to the community to keep his case alive and in the minds of everyone," he said.
"People walking on the beach, maybe they find his shoe, people walking their dogs; see his lanyard, people travelling around Australia, people talking to the homeless or the ravers, second hand dealers seeing his phone.
"If there is a new lead the police will recommence their search also, especially if the find is significant. I pray that he is found. I won't stop looking until he is."