Missing Australian backpacker Rye Hunt’s case has taken a new turn with the appearance of another character in the story, an apartment owner in Brazil.
Police have interrogated the owner of the Copacabana apartment and are suspecting him of involvement in the kidnap of the backpacker. Reports have suggested that 25-year-old Hunt left Rio de Janeiro’s Galeao International Airport in a taxi on May 21 after an argument with his travel companion, Mitchell Sheppard. They argued over the destination and where to go next during the world trip.
“They hadn’t booked a flight; they went to the airport with the intention of buying a ticket and looked online for flights,” Romany Brodribb, Hunt’s sister, told News.com.au in an initial statement. “They had a disagreement. My brother, as much as I love him to absolute bits if he gets a bit grumpy about something he needs a little time to cool off sometimes,” she added. “I believe the disagreement had something to do with Bolivia and when they should be going and what they should do when they get there. He and Mitch had been travelling for seven weeks. It was the first disagreement they’d had in that time.”
Recently, Hunt’s family released another statement that said that a man came forward and informed that the backpacker checked into an apartment at around 3:30 p.m. in the afternoon that same day. According to this statement, Hunt left the apartment at 6:30 p.m. and left his belongings there which included his laptop, camera, and travel bags. The ABC also reported a purchase was made a few minutes later by the backpacker’s card. The family still don’t know what the item was.
The family’s statement has brought the apartment owner into trouble and he is now being interrogated by police.
After her first statement, Brodribb also said that Sheppard remained upset and scared after the incident, which made the suspicion over him even stronger. But the case has taken a different direction with the family’s press release.