The family of Australian traveller Rye Hunt have spoken out, following the discovery of his body in Rio de Janeiro. Mr Hunt’s sister Romany Brodribb said the family were “understandably heartbroken” over the loss of the 25-year-old backpacker.
“Rye was the youngest member of our family and was known for being loyal, loving, generous, cheeky, and as a brother, totally infuriating,” she said.
“Thinking about life without him is unfathomable. He will be very missed by us all.”
Mr Hunt’s girlfriend, Bonnie Cuthbert, who travelled to Brazil to help authorities with their search, said she felt “blessed” to have had Mr Hunt in her life.
“I can confirm that Brazilian authorities have informed us that the body that was discovered recently near Rio de Janeiro is in fact that of Australian citizen, Rye Duval Hunt,” Ms Bishop told ABC News.
“The Australian consular service has been working closely with the family, we have been working closely with the Brazilian authorities.
Ms Bishop extended her sympathies to the family of the Tasmanian.
“We will continue to work with the family, providing whatever support we can within our consular responsibilities, and we’ll continue to work with the Brazilian authorities to determine how this death came about.”
However, on Facebook the family expressed dismay at the way the news was handled: “We are disappointed that we were not given the opportunity to share this sad and important news with our closest friends and family directly and we apologise that some may have heard this for the first time in the media. At this stage we still await official notification from DFAT. However, we can confirm that the body found belongs to our Rye.
We appreciate your support and sensitivity at this time.”
A body, believed to be Mr Hunt, was discovered on Thursday on a remote beach. .
The 25-year-old backpacker from Tasmania went missing on May 21 after a night out in Rio while he was allegedly under the influence of a “powerful hallucinogenic drug”.
Brazilian media reported that residents found a body washed ashore on the idyllic Guaratiba beach in the district of Marica, 50 kilometres from Rio, early on Wednesday, local time.
They noticed vultures on the white sand and then spotted a clothed, decomposing body covered in sand, journalist Romario Barros said.
Two firemen arrived and put the body, which was dressed in blue shorts and a light-coloured shirt, in a black body bag, he said.