Backpacker’s bones found on beach
Bones discovered on a beach on the NSW mid-north coast belong to missing French backpacker Erwan Ferrieux, police say.
Mr Ferrieux, 21, was reported missing in February along with British tourist Hugo Palmer, 20.
Walkers discovered items belonging to the two friends near the shore at Shelly Beach about 6.30am on February 18.
Their rental car was later traced to a car park nearby. It contained personal items, including the two men's travel documents.
Searches of land and water failed to locate the men. Police believed they may have drowned after entering rough seas the night before.
The human bones were discovered last month. Spearfisherman made the first discovery on June 15 at Flynn's Beach in Port Macquarie. Two more bones were discovered two days later.
The bones were forensically tested against DNA found on the missing tourists' rental van. Police today confirmed they had a match, the ABC reports.
Police Superintendent Paul Fehon said: "We believe from the DNA comparisons that (they belong) to Erwan Ferrieux."
Chief Inspector Mark Aldridge told reporters at the time of the pair's disappearance that police were concerned they had entered the water and not come back out.
"We have concerns that they may have entered the water some time, either on Sunday or Sunday night, and unfortunately have not returned from the water," he said.
"A large area has been covered, and unfortunately at this stage, we haven't had any indication or information that we've discovered in relation to the two missing boys."
Mr Palmer's family, including his mother Tanya McNab, travelled to the picturesque beach location in the week after her son went missing.
There, she gathered with locals for a vigil and told reporters: "I feel numb, completely numb."
Nicolas Croizer from the French consulate also attended on behalf of the Ferrieux family. He said they were in shock, but, "they are very proud of their son".
The pair had been travelling around the country since November last year and had only been in the Port Macquarie area for a few days.
Bones were found at the same beach yesterday, but police say it's far too early to determine who they belong to.
Inquiries are continuing following the discovery of a small bone in the same area yesterday, a NSW Police spokesperson said in a statement this afternoon.
"It will be subject to forensic examination, with any results being compared to missing person records.
Anyone with information about the incident is urged to contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or www.crimestoppers.com.