Rye Hunt confirmed dead by Julie Bishop

Rye Hunt was confirmed dead today by Julie Bishop. Photo / File
Rye Hunt was confirmed dead today by Julie Bishop. Photo / File

The family and partner of Australian backpacker Rye Hunt, who has been confirmed dead in Brazil, have spoken of their grief.

Foreign Minister Julie Bishop earlier today confirmed the body found on Wednesday washed ashore on the idyllic Guaratiba beach in the district of Marica, 50km from the centre of Rio, is that of Hunt.

"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 family said in a written statement."

Rye's sister Romany 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.
"We are understandably heart broken".

Rye's partner Bonnie Cuthbert said "I feel so blessed to have shared the last five years with my 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's whereabouts had been the subject of widespread speculation after leaving his friend at Rio de Janeiro Airport on May 21.

It's believed Mr Hunt's uncle, Michael Wholohan, who is in Rio de Janeiro supplied a DNA sample to police in order to test the remains.

Brazilian media had previously sent photos of the body to the family, prior to Saturday's confirmation.

Mr Hunt's family expressed its disgust after Brazilian media sent family members photos of an unidentified body earlier this week.

Bonnie Cuthbert, of Australia, shows a photo of her missing boyfriend Rye Hunt, 25, during a press conference in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Friday, June 3, 2016. Photo / AP
Bonnie Cuthbert, of Australia, shows a photo of her missing boyfriend Rye Hunt, 25, during a press conference in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Friday, June 3, 2016. Photo / AP

A body, suspected to be that of Mr Hunt, was uncovered on a remote beach near Rio de Janeiro, Brazilian police have confirmed.

In an emailed statement, Mr Hunt's family members said they'd been told by Australian authorities a body had been found, but there had been no confirmation that the body was that of the missing backpacker.

Media outlets have published pictures of the body and sent them to Mr Hunt's family.

"We are disgusted that photos of the body have been published by media outlets and sent directly via text to family members by Brazilian journalists, asking us to confirm the identity," the family said in a statement.

"It goes without saying that this crosses many professional and personal boundaries."

Rye Hunt disappeared while on a six-month trip around the world with his friend Mitchell Sheppard.

Military police registered the find and the body was sent to the Legal Medical Institute in the nearby city of Niteroi for identification.

"A body was found in Marica," a spokesman for the Civil Police in Rio de Janeiro state said.
"It has been sent to experts for analysis, including a DNA comparison, to see if it could be the Australian tourist who has been missing since May 21."

Ms Bishop labelled reports members of the Brazilian media had sent photographs to the body to Mr Hunt's family asking if they could confirm identification as "insensitive".

"I don't know if the media have responded to that," she said.

"I'm not aware of the particular details of how the media got hold of their contacts in order to send such photographs.

"Of course it's insensitive and it's a very difficult time for the family so I would urge the Brazilian media to respect the family's concerns and the obvious trauma that they're experiencing at that time."

- news.com.au

Get the news delivered straight to your inbox

Receive the day’s news, sport and entertainment in our daily email newsletter

SIGN UP NOW

© Copyright 2017, NZME. Publishing Limited

Assembled by: (static) on production bpcf02 at 20 Jan 2017 05:08:21 Processing Time: 565ms