It’s a question that’s haunted Australia for four years: What happened to William Tyrell?
At the age of just three, the toddler mysteriously disappeared while playing outside the front of his foster Grandmother’s house in 2014. Despite extensive searches in the past, the boy has never been found.
Overnight, Police announced Strike Force Rosann detectives would commence a four-week forensic search of bushland at Kendall on Wednesday, not far from where little William vanished in a Spider-Man costume. The initial searches focused on only locating William, although the latest search will focus on the possibility of human intervention.
In a statement sent to media, NSW Police said further details of the investigation would be revealed ahead of Wednesday’s large-scale forensic search into the disappearance of William.
“Shortly before 10.30am on Friday 12 September 2014, William, then aged three, was playing in the yard of his grandmother’s home on Benaroon Drive, Kendall, when he disappeared. For the next ten days, hundreds of local residents and emergency services workers combined to search the rural township, looking in forests, creeks and paddocks for the boy,” police said.
Police acknowledged that while the earlier searches were extensive, they didn’t uncover any evidence relevant to the boy’s disappearance. Police also explained that initial searches focused on finding William, without a focus of the possibility of human intervention.
“Detectives and analysts from the State Crime Command’s Homicide Squad are continuing to investigate the circumstances surrounding William’s disappearance under Strike Force Rosann,” the statement continued. “As part of ongoing investigations, Strike Force Rosann detectives will commence a four-week forensic search of bushland at Kendall tomorrow (Wednesday 13 June 2018). The operation is being coordinated by search experts from the Public Order and Riot Squad.”
Just last year, William Tyrell campaigners submitted a petition calling for an immediate inquest into the disappearance of the little boy. The Walking for Warriors group hand-delivered the petition baring 18,000 signatures to the NSW Coroner’s Court last October, saying they want an “independent set of eyes to scrutinise this investigation and the circumstances around it”.
The case also received more media spotlight last year when Schapelle Corby was photographed holding a handbag with a photograph of William on it in a bid to raise awareness around his case. William’s family responded to Corby’s gesture, explaining to The Sunday Telegraph at the time they weren’t aware the convicted drug-smuggler knew about his disappearance.
Read more: Schapelle Corby sticks photo of missing boy William Tyrell to handbag
“We appreciate Schapelle Corby’s concern about William’s disappearance and using this media opportunity to increase awareness that William is still missing,” Where’s William? campaign director Clare Collins said. “However, William’s family and the campaign have absolutely no association with Schapelle, her supporters or her family.”
In 2016, NSW Police Commissioner Andrew Scipione announced a record $1 million reward for the safe return of William.