Rye Hunt’s body identified in Brazil
The family of Rye Hunt are disappointed the confirmation of his death in Brazil was announced by Foreign Minister Julie Bishop.
The family said in a statement on Saturday that clinical testing had confirmed the body washed ashore at Marica, 50 kilometres from the centre of Rio de Janeiro, early on Wednesday local time was Mr Hunt’s.
The statement was issued after Ms Bishop confirmed the news to media in Melbourne.
The family said on their Facebook page they were ‘disappointed’ they were not given the opportunity to share the sad news first with their closest friends and family.
‘We are understandably grief-stricken as we come to terms with the events of the past two weeks and will not be available for comment,’ the statement said, adding the family asked for their privacy to be respected.
The family received the confirmation about the 25-year-old backpacker from the Australian Embassy in Rio and said they will work with the embassy to return Mr Hunt to Australia.
‘We are understandably heart-broken,’ Mr Hunt’s sister Roany Brodribb said.
‘Rye was the youngest member of our family and was known for being loyal, loving, generous, cheeky, and as a brother, totally infuriating!
‘Thinking about life without him is unfathomable. He will be very missed by us all.’
His partner Bonnie Cuthbert, who went to Rio to join the search for him, said she felt blessed to have shared her last five years with her ‘beautiful Big Bear’.
‘We have been so lucky to have found and loved each other so deeply. The love Rye and I shared will remain within both of us, forever.’
Mr Hunt went missing on May 21 after he separated from his travelling companion Mitchell Sheppard at the Rio airport following an argument after the two had taken what is suspected to be a highly potent hallucinogen known as NBOMe.
Ms Bishop said the Australian government would work with the family to provide whatever support was possible.
‘We will continue to work with the Brazilian authorities to determine how this death came about,’ she told reporters in Melbourne on Saturday.
Mr Hunt’s family thanked the Australian Embassy and Consulate, Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, and Brazilian police for their help in finding him and supporting the family.