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Brazil police missing Australian may have been seen on beach

June 01, 2016 - 5:48 PM

RIO DE JANEIRO - A 25-year-old Australian who disappeared shortly after arriving in Rio de Janeiro with a friend in mid-May was reported seen nine days later but authorities weren't able to find him, police said Wednesday.

A statement said police had received a call from a witness who reported talking with a man on May 30 who matched the description of the missing Rye Hunt. The witness said he was fishing on Cotunduba Island near Rio's Leme beach on May 30 when the man, with several bruises, walked up and asked for water. When asked how he arrived at the island the man responded "swimming."

Teams were sent to the island to search for Hunt but he was not found, the statement said.

Police also said that Hunt had used drugs before he went missing May 21.

According to the statement, Hunt and his friend arrived in Rio on May 16 and checked into a hostel in the Lapa neighbourhood. The two friends took an ecstasy-like drug and went to a party May 21, then later headed to Rio's international airport to catch a plane to Bolivia, it said.

Once at the airport, the pair quarreled, with Hunt accusing the friend of wanting to steal his passport and kill him, the statement said. It did not explain how police obtained that information.

Hunt left the airport and checked into an apartment on Copacabana beach, police said. The statement said that after paying $200 for three days at the apartment, Hunt went out but came back soon afterward with a bottle of beer.

A few hours later Hunt left again while wearing the same clothes he had on at the airport — a green shirt with the number 33 on it, Bermuda shorts, a black cap and flip flops, the statement said. He never returned.

Personal items belonging to Hunt that were left in the apartment will be returned to his relatives when they arrive in Brazil.

News from © The Associated Press, 2016
The Associated Press

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