Cap found in hunt for missing backpacker
A BASEBALL cap similar to that worn by missing Belgian backpacker Theo Hayez has been found in Byron Bay at almost the exact spot the last known 'ping' from his mobile phone was recorded.
The Daily Telegraph can reveal the Puma cap found by local volunteers 10 days ago is being DNA tested by NSW Police to see if it provides any matches with the missing 18-year-old.
Three days after police officially suspended their search for Theo, volunteers gathered at Tallow Beach carpark and split into three groups to search the area south of Cape Byron between the locations of two mobile phone pings given off by Theo's phone between May 31 and June 1.
Within hours of the search one volunteer saw a dark cap which was slightly frayed and had the Puma logo described by his friends as similar to the one he was wearing when he went missing.
One search team member sent a picture to Theo's cousin Lisa Hayez, who thought it was her missing relative's cap.
Police took possession of it and a local detective said they would run exhaustive tests to confirm if it belonged to the backpacker.
It was found in scrubland near a large homeless camp 200m from the beach.
Theo was last seen leaving popular Byron Bay bar Cheeky Monkey's.
The Daily Telegraph has obtained Theo's final phone records, showing the route he took from Cheeky Monkey's about 11pm until just after 1am the next morning when the last recorded signal came from a tower near Cape Byron lighthouse.
There has been renewed public interest in the mystery surrounding the young backpacker after forensic psychologist Tim Watson-Munro raised the possibility that Theo's disappearance could be linked to that of two other international backpackers who vanished, presumed drowned, at Port Macquarie in February.
Dr Watson-Munro said all three could have been victims of a serial killer, despite NSW police denying that was the case.