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DNA tests confirm bones found on NSW beach are of missing French backpacker

NEW CASTLE: DNA test has confirmed several bones found on the state’s mid-north coast last month are those of missing French backpacker Erwan Ferrieux, NSW police have said.

Ferrieux, 21, was last seen near Shelly Beach in February. He was with 20-year-old British tourist Hugo Palmer.

Their belongings, including towels, sunglasses and car keys, were found in a rental car nearby. As per police assessment, the pair may have drowned.

Last month, members of the public found three bones south of nearby Flynns Beach.

Those bones were matched against DNA found in the backpackers’ vehicle.

“We believe from the DNA comparisons that [they belong] to Erwan Ferrieux,” Superintendent Paul Fehon said today.

Another bone, believed to be human, was found at Rocky Beach — about 300 metres north of Flynns beach — on Sunday.

It has been sent to Newcastle, where a forensic analysis will determine whether it belongs to either of the missing backpackers, police said.

“We wouldn’t be speculating at all and we’ll be awaiting further tests to confirm that,” Superintendent Fehon said.

“This bone is from another part of the anatomy.”

Police said the new DNA analysis could take several weeks.

Following the discovery on Sunday, a new search of local beaches has been launched.

“SES personnel will be assisting with a search later today at low tide, but at this point in time police divers won’t be attending,” Superintendent Fehon said.