Australia

Erwan Ferrieux: Australian police identify backpacker's remains

A split image of Hugo Palmer and Erwan Ferrieux Image copyright NSW POLICE
Image caption Erwan Ferrieux (right) and Hugo Palmer went missing in February

Australian police say preliminary DNA testing has identified remains of a French backpacker who disappeared five months ago.

Erwan Ferrieux, 21, went missing along with a British backpacker, Hugo Palmer, north of Sydney. Mr Palmer, 20, remains unaccounted for.

Authorities believe the pair may have drowned while swimming at a beach.

Bones recovered from the sea match Mr Ferrieux's DNA, police said, adding further testing would be "conclusive".

Mr Ferrieux and Mr Palmer, from East Sussex, had been travelling together along the New South Wales coast when they disappeared.

The alarm was raised on 18 February after items belonging to the men - including towels and sunglasses - were found on Shelly Beach. The pair's hire car was discovered nearby.

An air and sea search was conducted in February, but no trace of either man was found until spear fishermen discovered the three bones at neighbouring Flynns Beach last month.

Police said one more bone was discovered at a separate beach on Sunday. It would undergo forensic testing in the coming weeks.

It is believed Mr Palmer and Mr Ferrieux had been travelling in Australia since November last year.

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