Theo Hayez inquest: Missing Byron Bay backpacker's treacherous final steps

Theo Hayez inquest: Missing Byron Bay backpacker's treacherous final steps
Theo Hayez inquest: Missing Byron Bay backpacker's treacherous final steps

In dense bushland in the dead of night, missing backpacker Theo Hayez Googled directions to his hostel - but walked off in the opposite direction to his likely death.

'There is no way he was doing that by himself,' his cousin and close friend Lisa Hayez told the inquest into his disappearance on Tuesday. 'No way.'

The tragic final steps of the Belgian teenager on May 31, 2019, have been revealed at day two of the inquest after being pieced together from Google data on his phone.

It revealed the treacherous route Theo, 18, took after he was he was kicked out of a local bar by security in Byron Bay, northern NSW, for appearing drunk. 

But although the teen repeatedly Googled how to get back to his WakeUp! hostel on the opposite side of town, he constantly ignored the instructions. 

In dense bushland in the dead of night, missing backpacker Theo Hayez (pictured) googled directions to his hostel - but walked off in the opposite direction to his likely death

In dense bushland in the dead of night, missing backpacker Theo Hayez (pictured) googled directions to his hostel - but walked off in the opposite direction to his likely death

The tragic final steps of the Belgian teenager on May 31, 2019, have been revealed at day two of the inquest after being pieced together from Google data on his phone

The tragic final steps of the Belgian teenager on May 31, 2019, have been revealed at day two of the inquest after being pieced together from Google data on his phone

Instead he took a detour through the town, stopping at cricket nets for seven minutes before heading to a remote scrub trail towards Tallow Beach.

Again and again, he Googled how to get back to his hostel before going deeper into the bushland, at times appearing to run or walk quickly.

Finally he reached the waterfront and walked up the sand a spot known as Cosy Corner beach, at the foot of Byron Bay Lighthouse, around midnight.

Once there he switched off his location services, sent relaxed messages to family and friends, before his phone suddenly switched off at 1:02am and he was never seen again.

Google data has revealed the treacherous route Theo Hayez, 18, (pictured with his girlfriend) took after he was he was kicked out of a local bar by security in Byron Bay, northern NSW, for appearing drunk

Google data has revealed the treacherous route Theo Hayez, 18, (pictured with his girlfriend) took after he was he was kicked out of a local bar by security in Byron Bay, northern NSW, for appearing drunk

Ms Hayez revealed how in the wake of his disappearance, she had retraced his steps in daylight and at night to try to work out what had happened to him.

And she insisted there was no way he would ever have made the trip alone, especially deep into the bush.

'It was scary,' she told the inquest. 

'I could see him starting the walk but he would probably have stopped once he started to go into the deep bush land and be like, that's not safe for me to do by myself.'

Ms Hayez insisted the engineering student-to-be was an expert user in Google Maps and would never have got lost.

Theo Hayez (pictured, right, with a friend) was spotted on CCTV at a bottle shop earlier on the evening he disappeared

Theo Hayez (pictured, right, with a friend) was spotted on CCTV at a bottle

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