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April 1, 2023

‘Missing’ Melbourne man safe and well in Byron

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'Missing' man Aiden Del Balso has been spotted safe and well in Byron Bay. Photo NSW Police
‘Missing’ man Aiden Del Balso has been spotted safe and well in Byron Bay. Photo NSW Police

Chris Dobney

A man reported as missing from Nimbin by Richmond LAC police yesterday has been spotted, spoken to and identified by Byron Bay youth worker Nicqui Yazdi.

Ms Yazdi said she saw 20-year-old Aiden Del Balso entering the Byron Bay IGA yesterday afternoon, and recognised him after having posted his missing status on her Facebook page that same morning.

Ms Yazdi told Echonetdaily she had taken note of Mr Del Balso’s appearance because ‘he looks like my daughter’s boyfriend so it stuck in my mind.’

‘I had just come out of the IGA and was talking with a friend of mine when this guy just walked past us,’ she said.

‘I showed the photo to my friend and she agreed it was him, so I followed him into the store,’ she added.

‘I grabbed him and showed him the picture on my phone. I showed him the whole post. I asked him to call someone.

‘He was going to log onto Facebook but his hand’s in a cast. He said he was just going to an internet café and would contact people from there. He seemed totally normal.’

Mr Del Balso told Ms Yazdi he had left a note for his grandmother and that maybe she just hadn’t found it.

‘He’s in his early 20s, he looked surprised that people would think that he was missing.’

Ms Yazdi phoned Lismore police and spoke to them but was told that Mr Del Balso would have to be ‘seen by police’ for his missing person status to be withdrawn.

‘He was buying fruit and veg so maybe he went back to where he was staying, ate his dinner and will contact them today.

‘As a youth worker there was nothing that led me to believe that he was in any form of trouble.’

But Ms Yazdi said she perfectly understood why, after not having heard from him for several days, family and friends back in Melbourne may have started to worry.

‘My daughter and her boyfriend have just driven to Melbourne. I got her to text me along the way and if I hadn’t heard I would panic too,’ she said.


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