A resident discovered a large “bludgeon stick” with blood-like stains on it in sand dunes at Byron Bay just weeks after backpacker Theo Hayez’ disappearance.
The stick, which is roughly 1.5 metres long, has the words ‘The JUDGE’ emblazoned in black letters along its side with one end wrapped in duct tape, and was found in the Clarkes Beach dunes three weeks after the 18-year-old Belgian vanished on May 31.
The wife of the man who found it took to Facebook this week to share the discovery as Mr Hayez’ final phone activity emerged after he was removed from Cheeky Monkey’s bar.
She said Byron Bay police took the stick, with one officer saying: “We’ll take that”.
However she claims they failed to take any details regarding its discovery.
She described the the find as a “bludgeon stick” and that it was had a stain on it that appeared like blood.
It is the latest potential item of interest found to come to light after a grey Puma cap, believed by Mr Hayez’ family to belong to the missing backpacker, was found in bushland off Tallow Beach on July 7.
In CCTV from the day he disappeared, he can be seen wearing a similar hat.
The area it was found is several hundred metres from where the stick was found during a clean up of an area where homeless people are known to camp out.
NSW Police has declined to comment on whether the stick is or was of interest during investigations.
“The matter has been referred to the NSW Coroner. As this is now under coronial jurisdiction, it would be inappropriate for the NSW Police to comment further,” a spokesperson told Yahoo News Australia.
Theo Hayez’ final phone activity revealed
Mr Hayez’ cousin Michael Dorkhom revealed in The Australian podcast The Lighthouse that data revealed he’d used Google Maps to try and navigate his way back to his hostel.
it shows him heading in the opposite direction to his hostel through dense bushland and at times running.
His final message on Whatsapp was to his stepsister in French at 12.55am where he said “merci” with a kiss emoji.
He had also messaged a friend about an upcoming U2 tour in Australia on Facebook five minutes earlier.
His parents believe their son was accompanied by another person as he headed towards the north end of Tallows Beach.
Anyone with information is urged to contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or use the online reporting page.
Do you have a story tip? Email: firstname.lastname@example.org.