'When you are on acid...you just go': Shock twist in search for Theo Hayez as missing backpacker's cousin suggests he could have been on mind-bending drugs the night he disappeared
Theo was last seen leaving the Cheeky Monkey's nightclub in the New South Wales tourist town of Byron Bay after being asked to leave at 11pm on May 31. But instead of returning to his accommodation at WakeUp! Hostel, the teenager opted for a strange path through bushland and to the beach. Theo's cousins Lisa Hayez and Michael Dorkhom joined The Australian's podcast The Lighthouse to follow the backpacker's final footsteps recorded by his Google data.
A woman phoned police to say she saw a man 'looking dead' lying on the side of the road wearing similar clothes to those worn by Theo Hayez on the night he disappeared.
Leesa Horn, a beauty therapist from Queensland, claims she was waved down by a man, aged in his 30s, as she drove south on the Pacific Highway, 10 kilometres out of Coffs Harbour, about 4.30am on June 2.
The hitchhiker was standing next to another man who was sprawled out on the concrete and looked 'dead', she told.
The sighting was four days before the 18-year-old traveller's family learned he had vanished in Byron Bay, about 240 kilometres north of Coffs Harbour.
Mystery homeless man who camped in bushland where Theo Hayez was last traced could be linked to the missing backpacker's disappearance, search teams say
Theo, 18, was last seen leaving the Cheeky Monkey's nightclub in the New South Wales tourist town of Byron Bay after being asked to leave at 11pm on May 31.Theo, 18, was last seen on CCTV footage leaving the Cheeky Monkey's nightclub in the New South Wales tourist town of Byron Bay at 11pm on May 31.
Theo was last seen leaving the Cheeky Monkey's nightclub in the New South Wales tourist town after being asked to leave at 11pm on May 31.
Extensive land, air and sea searches failed to find the teenager and the NSW Police referred Theo's case to the State Coroner in September, officially ending the search.
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It is six months since the Belgian backpacker went missing after a night out in Byron Bay — and the family say they are living an inescapable nightmare, an experience shared by thousands of people connected to missing persons every year in Australia.And then he was gone.
On the same day as her sighting, Ms Horn filmed a video detailing what she saw and shared it to Facebook.
The beauty therapist explained she initially thought to reverse and assist the men, before changing her mind.
'Something in my stomach said this is not right. I thought ''No Leesa, just go'',' she said in the video.
'I started crying when I'm driving off because I thought what if somebody's really hurt and they need my help. I didn't know what to do. So I decided to ring 000.'
Coffs Harbour police rang Ms Horn back and told her they did not find anyone on the highway after patrolling the scene.
Ms Horn said it was 'strange' the police were unable to find the men.
Man guilty of murdering his housemate in Sydney's west
A man has pleaded guilty to murdering his housemate in Sydney's west last year.Shuo Dong, 19, admitted killing Qi Yu, 28, in Campsie after police found her body in bushland near an emergency stop area on the M1 highway near Mount Kuring-gai in Sydney's north nearly two months after she went missing.
She would later connect the June 2 incident and Theo's disappearance after seeing CCTV footage of Theo on the news.
Ms Horn believes the man lying on the ground was wearing wearing light-coloured pants and dark shoes, just like Theo was on the night he went missing.
'I told Crime Stoppers that I'm sure the guy I saw in the video was the guy lying on the road,' she told The Australian's podcast The Lighthouse.
Police began searching for Theo on June 6. The teenager failed to return to his accommodation at the Wake Up! Hostel in Byron Bay.
Claremont victim's friend tells trial of last conversation in tearful testimony .
Sarah Spiers' friend has told the Claremont serial killings trial she called it a night on Australia Day in 1996 just minutes after the 18-year-old vanished.Now, 23 years on from Sarah Spiers' disappearance, a close friend of the 18-year-old receptionist has tearfully described the last words they said to each other on that summer night in Perth.