Theo Hayez in Australia is ramping up with dozens of volunteers joining State Emergency Service and police crews combing dense bushland and cliff areas around Cape Byron, south of Brisbane, 18 days after the Belgian teen was last seen.
Police briefing searchers on Tuesday morning said their focus was on looking for a smartphone and any other property in the area that might belong to Hayez.
Detective Inspector Matt Kehoe said about 35 State Emergency Service (SES) personnel, 15 special operations police officers, and 20-30 members of the public were involved in the search on Tuesday.
The search would be "very intense," Inspector Kehoe told volunteers, with police and SES going shoulder to shoulder on their hands and knees through steep , dense scrubland
* Young backpacker Theo Hayez missing in Australia and 'in grave danger'
* Byron Bay is not an Australian coastal paradise anymore ” style=”width:100%;display:inline-block”/>
DANIELLE SMITH / FAIRFAX MEDIA
The search continues at The Pass in Byron Bay for Hayez
Their focus will be on the area between Wategos Beach and The Pass, on the western side of Cape Byron, because telecommunication records indicated that this may have been the location of Hayez's last activity on his phone before it ran out of battery
Inspector Kehoe said searchers were looking for "any piece of evidence "related to Theo, including his phone – understood to be a neon purple Oppo device
" The phone is what we know about … but we are not limiting our search just to a mobile phone, " he said. "On Monday, police confirmed the final ping from Hayes' phone was recorded at 1.42pm on June 1, more than 12 hours after he was last seen leaving the Cheeky Monkeys bar in Byron Bay's CBD.
Hayez 'distraught father Laurant Hayez spoke with media on Monday after arriving in Australia on Friday, pleading with messaging provider WhatsApp, which is owned by Facebook, to give police access to Theo's ” style=”width:100%;display:inline-block”/>