Police in Rio de Janeiro have confirmed that they have discovered a body on a remote beach that could be of the missing Australian backpacker Rye Hunt.
On Wednesday, the residents found a body which washed ashore on the Guaratiba beach, 50 kilometers from Rio in the district of Marica. According to a local journalist named Romario Barros who was at the scene, the residents first noticed vultures on the beach and then they found a clothed decomposed body covered in sand.
Firemen arrived and put the body into a black body bag. The body was dressed in a light colored shirt and blue shorts when found, Barros said. The find was registered by the military police and the body will be sent to the Legal Medical Institute in Niteroi for identification.
“A body was found in Marica,” News.com.au quoted a spokesman for the Civil Police in Rio de Janeiro state as saying. “It has been sent to experts for analysis, including a DNA comparison, to see if it could be the Australian tourist who has been missing since May 21.”
Hunt, 25, has been missing since May 21 after he left his friend at the Rio de Janeiro airport. His family is “disgusted” over being sent an image of a dead body for identification by the Brazilian media directly via text. It released a public statement saying that it was not yet confirmed that the body is of Rye.
“It goes without saying that this crosses many professional and personal boundaries,” a statement by the family read, as quoted by the ABC. The family requested privacy and respect during these difficult times.
According to the police, A DNA test will be carried to identify the body.
Foreign Minister Julie Bishop said that there has been no confirmation on the identity of body yet. “I’m not in a position to confirm that the reports of the body are indeed Mr. Hunt, but as soon as we have any information from the authorities in Brazil we provide it to the families,” she said. “But this is obviously a very difficult time for them and we are providing the family with consular support.”