The former lead investigator on the William Tyrrell case, Gary Jubelin, has doubled down on his call for a public inquiry into how police handled the 2014 disappearance of the three-year-old, claiming “the main focus should be finding out what’s happened to William”.
William vanished from his foster grandmother’s house in New South Wales (NSW) on September 12, 2014. He had been playing in the front yard of the property in Kendall, and was wearing a Spider-Man suit at the time of his disappearance. Despite extensive investigations and renewed search efforts by hundreds of volunteers and emergency service workers in 2021, the three-year-old has never been found.
Jubelin became a key figure in the investigation of William’s disappearance for more than four years from early 2015 until 2019. He was stood down as the head of Strike Force Rosann due to misconduct allegations, he left the NSW Police force not long after.
During an interview with Today on Wednesday, September 7, Jubelin suggested that after continued criticism of the investigation, authorities should take the matter “one step further” and “have an external inquiry about the handling of the investigation”.
“It’s been eight years since William disappeared, and there’s been a lot of speculation, rumours, and innuendo that’s affecting people’s lives,” Jubelin said.
“It was almost 12 months ago the Police Commissioner came out and criticised the investigation, and the state Minister said there could be an investigation.”
Despite acknowledging that an inquiry could potentially find fault with his efforts during the investigation, Jubelin said ensuring “that everything that’s been done and everything that can be done is being done to find out what happened to William” takes precedence.
“I could be very stupid, but it’s very important when a three-year-old kid disappears, and that’s what sort of gets lost,” Jubelin explained
“If something has been done wrong, whether it’s me or things we could have done better, let’s learn from it so it doesn’t happen again.
“But certainly with the rumours and the speculation going on with this investigation I couldn’t sit by and not make a comment.”
Above all, Jubelin holds the firm belief that “finding out what’s happened to William” is all that matters.
“I’m still a policeman at heart, and I know there are people working very hard for it but it does need to be scrutinised, and there needs to be transparency about what’s happening,” he said.
“A homicide investigation by its nature is subjective, so you’re looking at what weight you put on different things.
“I can see why you can have different views. But the main focus should be finding out what’s happened to William, so let’s explore all those avenues.”
Jubelin first flagged an interest in a public inquiry into how police handled the 2014 disappearance of the three-year-old in a recent interview with The Daily Telegraph.
“I’ve worked many homicides and been accused of playing hardball when working those cases, but I understand actions have consequences and there is no way I would have singled out a person with a strategy like that. If you get it wrong, you destroy lives,” he told the publication.
Despite claiming he would “rather not be talking about the William Tyrrell investigation”, he feels a duty to do so in order to “ensure more lives are not ruined by misinformation, speculation and rumours that have surrounded the investigation over the past 12 months”.
“It appears I am the only person who has had to justify their actions. Perhaps it is time for a public inquiry into the handling of the investigation, from the moment William disappeared, including how certain information has been leaked to the media,” he said.