Search suspended for backpacker missing from Byron Bay

CCTV footage released by Australian police of missing Belgian backpacker Theo Hayez (right, hat,...
CCTV footage released by Australian police of missing Belgian backpacker Theo Hayez (right, hat, beige pants), last seen in Byron Bay on May 31. Photo: Supplied
The physical search for missing Belgian backpacker Theo Hayez has been suspended, but police say they are "strengthened" in their efforts to keep looking for him.

It comes as his father thanked the local Byron Bay community for their support.

Theo, 18, was last seen leaving the Cheeky Monkey's bar about 11pm on May 31.

Theo Hayez
Theo Hayez
The last 'ping' from Theo's phone was recorded on June 1 in the area around the Cape Byron Lighthouse.

While the physical search for Theo has been suspended for Saturday and Sunday, detectives will continue to go through information provided to police, a NSW Police spokesman said on Saturday morning.

Police will reassess whether the physical search will resume on Monday.

Theo's father Laurent Hayez reached out to thank Byron Bay locals.

"Your warmness and kindness is like a balm on our bleedin' heart," Mr Hayez posted to a group for the Byron Bay community on Friday night.

"You give us force and faith. We love u from the earth to the moon (What Theo told me one evening in his bed at age of five) ... "

Detective Inspector Matt Kehoe also took to the Facebook group to thank the Byron Bay community.

"The kindness, compassion and selflessness of everyone involved demonstrates what a wonderful place this truly is," Mr Kehoe said in a statement posted on Saturday.

"Sadly our search efforts...do not have any more answers for Theo's family."

However, through time spent with Theo's family, Mr Kehoe said he is "strengthened to continue our efforts" to locate the teenager.

Mr Hayez on Monday made an emotional plea for help, begging encrypted chat service WhatsApp to grant police access to his son's final known conversations.

The company provided what information they could but were unable to access the content of the messages, AAP understands.

Belgian police are also working in Europe to speak with people Theo may have contacted in his final known hours.

More than $70,000 has been raised via a GoFundMe page for the family, part of which was used to help Mr Hayez fly to Australia.

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