Timeline of events

This timeline covers Théo's movement from when he landed in Melbourne, to the night he went missing in Byron Bay and the following events

November 12, 2018

Théo land in Australia in Melbourne where he is welcomed by his Godfather, Jean-Philippe Pector (J-P). He stays with JP, his wife, and children at their home in the Otways for a bit more than a month.

Mid-December 2018

Théo stays in Melbourne.
He returns to the Otways for a few days to celebrate Christmas with J-P and family.
Goes to Sydney to meet with his cousin Lisa Hayez for New Year.

January 2019

Théo stays in Melbourne with Lisa and work at the Australian Open.
End of the month, start farm work in Shepparton.


Back in Melbourne.
End of the month, Théo heads off to travel in Tasmania.

March 2019

Road trips: Around Alice Spring and from Alice Spring to Darwin, Lichtfield, Kakadu.
End of the month, Théo leaves for Cairns.

April 2019

Théo works for a family near Cairns until mid-April.
Travels to visit Great Barrier Reef.

May 2019

Théo travel down on the East Coast: visit the Whitsundays (yacht), Agnès Water (surfing), Fraser Island, Rainbow Beach, Noosa (surfing)

May 25

Theo visits his cousins Lisa Hayez and Michael Dorkhom in Brisbane. He has dinner with them and stays overnight.

May 26

Theo takes a bus to the Gold Coast.

Wednesday, May 29

Theo takes a bus to Byron Bay and checks into the Wake Up! Hostel at 2.30pm.

Friday, May 31

In the early evening, Theo and a new friend from his hostel catch the hostel’s shuttle bus into town to buy some alcohol for a barbecue that night. They catch an Uber back to the hostel about 7.45pm.

Friday 9.35pm

After the barbecue at the hostel, the backpackers decide to go to Cheeky Monkey’s, a local bar, walking there and arriving at 9.35pm.


The travellers become separated in the bar. Theo is asked to leave at about 11pm, with police saying that the reason given by the bar was that “he was approaching intoxication”.


Theo starts walking away from Cheeky Monkey’s. Just over a minute later, he stops on Kingsley Street for a minute and enters the address of his hostel into Google Maps. He then continues walking for four minutes and 40 seconds at an average speed of just over 7km per hour.

At the end of Tennyson Street, near the edge of the bushland that surrounds the Byron Youth Activities Centre, he stops for a total of almost seven minutes. There are cricket nets here, and a concrete slab, and Google data shows Theo’s phone was within three metres of this spot.


We assume from here that Théo’s phone movements correspond to Théo’s movements and that he was not separated from his phone. He leaves the concrete slab behind the cricket nets at the end of Tennyson Street. He crosses to the other side of the sports field, winding his way through suburban streets to Massinger Street.According to the Google data, he walked this section at almost 6km per hour and checked Google Maps a couple of times on the way. The map always had the wayback to his hostel.

From Massinger Street, Theo heads through more suburban streets until he reachesMilne Street where suburbia ends and there’s a clearing looking out over Arakwal National Park to the ocean and to the lighthouse.

From here, Theo does not take the Milne Track which leads straight to Tallow Beach, but instead heads onto a separate bush track heading north, going an average speed of more than 7.5 kilometres an hour - pretty much jogging - in difficult terrain. Theo was going fast through the national park in the pitch black.

He stops and looks again at the itinerary to his hostel on Google Maps. Again he heads in the opposite direction, heading right, further into the bush.


Theo reaches Tallow Beach, exiting the bush via a tiny path. Right near the exit is a camp site. He looks again on Google Maps at the itinerary to his hostel.

Theo then walks to Cosy Corner at the northern end of Tallow Beach at an average speed of just under 6km per hour.

Just before midnight, Theo leaves the beach at Cosy Corner and goes into the bush, towards a steep hill with thick bushland and lantana.  Surrounded by a tangle of vines and shielded from the outside world, Theo stops for five and half minutes.

He then takes less than two minutes to go back down to the beach.

Saturday, June 1, 12.05am

Google Timeline’s GPS tracking of Theo ends. According to Google, at this time Theo was at Cosy Corner.


Theo sends a friend a message about the band U2 via Messenger on his phone.


Theo watches a couple of minutes the start of a French comedy video, Burger Quiz, on YouTube.


Theo sends a WhatsApp message to his step-sister in Belgium. It was a reply to an earlier message from Emma, and it had a kiss emoji with one word in French: “Merci”.


The last registered time of use of Theo’s WhatsApp account.


The last signal from his mobile phone is detected in the Cape Byron vicinity.

Monday, June 3

Theo was due to check out of his hostel and take a Greyhound bus to Sydney but did not do so.

Thursday, June 6

Theo’s mum, Vinciane Delforge, sends a message to Lisa Hayez and J-P, concerned because Theo has not responded to her messages and has fallen silent online for six days. Lisa can’t reach Theo on his phone either. She calls Greyhound Busses and finds out he didn’t take the trip to Sydney that he booked earlier. Lisa posts on Backpackers groups missing info with photos of Théo. J-P finds out that Theo’s last transactions were at Cheeky Monkey’s ByronBay and that he paid for accommodation at WakeUp! hostel. Lisa calls the hostel and finds out that he didn’t check out on Monday 3rd  of June and that his belongings including his passport had been left at his hostel. Hostel and family report him missing.

Saturday, June 8

A local volunteer search effort begins in Byron, organised by Theo’s cousins Lisa and Michael, via Facebook.

June 8-9

Westpac Life Saver Rescue Helicopter conducts a coastal search for Theo.

Sunday, June 9

Police conduct a major land, sea and air search in the Byron Bay area with the assistance of rescue officers, the State Emergency Service, a Westpac Lifesaver helicopter and lifesavers. Michael, Lisa & J-P check main street towards the hostel to identify all CCTV that have view on street.

June 10

Locals and other backpackers joined in the search for Theo. SES Search in Arakwal National Park from Tallow Beach Car Park along main sand track and Milne Track to beach.

June 11

SES crews, the dog squad, lifeguards, local volunteers and police continue to search the Byron Bay headlands, east and north of the town, as well as beaches and swamps.

June 13

Laurent Hayez (Théo’s father) arrives in Byron Bay to help search for his son.

June 17

Theo's father makes an emotional plea asking Australia to keep looking for his son and vows to stay in the country until he is found. He says he hopes WhatsApp will cooperate with police to decode the messages that Theo last sent - a feat, he says, which could change the course of the search. Police confess they are still 'baffled' by the case and are keeping all lines of inquiry open.
Homicide detectives from Sydney join in on the search for Theo.

June 20

Police divers join the search, launching from The Pass and focusing their efforts around the Cape Byron headland. Detectives use drones and police dogs with volunteers scouring nearby bushland. Brunswick Valley Rescue Squad join efforts in Byron Bay as the search continues.

June 24

Vinciane (Théo’s mum) arrives in Byron Bay.
The family receive demand for ransom via Messenger. There will be several of those during the following months, but none appear to be genuine!

June 28

The family and volunteers setup of theFacebook page “Looking For Théo Hayez”

June 30

Belgian Police Phillipe Pierrard (Missing Person Unit) and 2 Federal police officers from Hal-Vilvoorde arrive in Byron Bay.

July 2

Police rescue team’s abseilers search cliffs around the Lighthouse.

Wednesday, July 3

NSW Police announce the full-scale search for Theo has been called off, but investigations are ongoing.

Briefing at Byron Bay Police with investigators, Belgian Police and family: it is understood from this meeting that the police believe the most likely scenario is the accident on the cliffs of the cape!

Belgian Police leave Australia and return to Belgium.

Sunday, July 7

Volunteers continuing the search for Theo find a grey Puma cap in the bushland near Tallow Beach. The cap has familiar wear and tear on the brim, and the position precisely matches one of Théo’s last known GPS locations.

Friday, July 12

Theo's father and mother fly back home.

July 22

the Australian police informs the family that, at that stage three out of the four swabs returned from the lab without any DNA. If the fourth also returned no result, they would carry out other tests.

Thursday, August 22

Two dogs from “Sydney Search Dogs”, trained to detect human remains, scour the rugged terrain around Cape Byron Lighthouse after being called in by the Byron Bay volunteers.

Sunday, September 1

Laurent Hayez comes back to Byron for a meeting with the police but leaves for Belgium shortly after.

Sunday, September 15

The Byron Bay volunteers organise “Light The Night”, a ceremony for Théo on the beach in Byron Bay. Lisa, Michael, J-P and his family are present to witness this emotional tribute.

Monday, September 16

Police announce they have referred the disappearance of Theo to the NSW Coroner.

VR Walkthrough

Friday, November 1

Release of Episode 1 of the Podcast “The Lighthouse”. 6 episodes will be released until further development.

Thank you to the people of Belgium, Australia and elsewhere for the attention and love that you bring to Theo!

You are not mistaken! He deserves it!

Théo arrived in Australia on the 12th of November.

He was welcomed and hosted by his Godfather, who lives in Victoria 200km west of Melbourne. That’s where Théo spent the first month of his adventure.

Then, Théo had the chance to get a job at the Australian Open Tennis.

In February, he went to Tasmania with a Swiss backpacker.

Once back on the mainland, Théo met with his cousin Lisa and they both started working in a farm to harvest apples and pears.

He also had the opportunity to work in a gardening company (like his father, who is a Landscape Architect)

After that, he traveled with other backpackers to Alice Springs in central Australia, after which he moved north to Cairns.

He began to travel south along the east coast to finally get to Byron Bay on May 29th.

He had planned to leave Byron on Monday June 3rd to catch-up with his Godfather in Melbourne on June 8th...

He was excited to return home on June 13th! A few days before his disappearance, he asked his mum if it was possible to organise a party at her house with all his friends to celebrate him being back in Belgium...

He also asked me (Laurent) if it would be possible to work with me in gardening to earn some money once he was back.

In September, Théo intended to start engineering studies in mechanical technologies, related to the environment.

Since a young age, Théo has been very interested in the environment and dreams of inventing a car that will have zero impact on the planet ....

His Mom, his brother Lucas and I keep hope, thanks also to the incredible support of the Belgian, Australian and Byron community. Hoping for the possibility of another scenario than the one of the accident !!!!

If, however, Théo has left this poor Earth, and is currently having fun with whales, turtles and dolphins...; Vinciane, Lucas and I, while looking at the beautiful smile of Théo on the pictures of his Australian adventure, are relieved to see that he spent the last 6 months (of his too short life ...) in a beautiful country, meeting wonderful people!

Thank you to the people of Belgium, Australia and elsewhere for the attention and love that you bring to Theo!

You are not mistaken! He deserves it !"

Vinciane Delforge, Lucas and Laurent Hayez

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