William Tyrrell search: Police ‘happy’ with finds as renewed investigations continue

The significance of the items discovered during the search for William Tyrrell has been revealed, with investigators “very happy” with the finds.

Authorities have revealed what they hope the potential pieces of evidence being discovered in the renewed search for William Tyrrell could lead to.

Speaking to 2GB’s Ben Fordham on Friday morning, NSW Police Assistant Commissioner Stuart Smith said any evidence found to be linked to the boy’s disappearance could be used to lay charges.

He said the current line of inquiry being investigated has not been “previously explored”.

“The team are looking for evidence within the search area which supports a line of inquiry not previously explored by … investigators,” he said.

“We are there to find evidence. If we find evidence that supports charging a person with an indictable offence in William’s disappearance, that prosecution will be pursued.

“Anything that we find at that scene gets catalogued.”

Authorities revealed today they are “very happy” with the items they have uncovered so far in the renewed search for the case of missing boy William Tyrrell.

Detective Chief Superintendent Darren Bennett, NSW Police State Crime Command Director, provided a brief update on Friday morning on the investigations being conducted by Strike Force Rosann investigators at Kendall, on NSW’s mid north coast.

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The renewed search efforts have been focused on the Benaroon Dr home where William was last seen seven years ago and a patch of bushland about a kilometre down the road.

So far investigators have located at least 15 objects of interest, including pieces of cloth and part of a hessian bag, which have been bagged and sent off for examination.

Mr Bennett said every item deemed to be relevant to the investigation will be forensically examined.

“We are very happy with (the) items in terms of eliminating people or proving what happened to William Tyrrell,” he told reporters on Friday morning.

“The message from the investigative team is what they’ve located so far is cause enough to keep going.”

Wet weather has hampered search efforts this week, with Mr Bennett saying investigators “couldn’t have picked a worse time” in terms of weather to be searching.

He revealed the search may now need to be extended “well beyond” the initial time frames set out by police.

Police initially expected the search to last up to three weeks but Mr Bennett said that could now be doubled.

The update comes after hundreds of officers, RFS personnel and experts descended on the town of Kendall last week a part of renewed search efforts into the case.

A three-year-old William was playing at his foster grandmother’s home on Benaroon Dr, Kendall, when he vanished on September 14, 2014.

His disappearance sparked a major police search, with one of the main theories investigated over the years being a possible abduction.

Now, more than seven years since his disappearance, investigators have turned their attention back to where he was last seen.

Mr Bennett said last week the decision behind the major search revival was “in response to evidence we have obtained over the course of the investigation” and it was “not speculative in any way”.

The search has now entered its 11th day, with investigators so far focusing their efforts on the Benaroon Dr home and a stretch of bushland along Batar Creek Rd, less than a kilometre from the house.

Officers have been meticulously sifting through soil, searching for anything that could be linked to William.

Police confirmed last week there was “no doubt” officers were looking for William’s remains.

More than 15 tonnes of soil have been taken from the home and nearby bushland to undergo forensic examination.

No DNA evidence found in renewed search

So far, investigators have located at least 15 objects of interest, including pieces of cloth and part of a hessian bag, which have been bagged and sent off for examination.

Officers have been spotted comparing some of the discoveries to a sample of a red and blue Spider-Man suit – the same outfit William was wearing when he disappeared.

Forensic officers have been working around the clock in Lidcombe to establish any links between the objects and the missing boy.

However, on Wednesday, Deputy Commissioner Karen Webb revealed so far no DNA link had been established between the material and the missing boy.

“There’s been miles and miles of material and many exhibits taken and it will be examined, but that takes time,” she told 2GB.

Yesterday police divers began scouring a dam downstream from a creek on Batar Creek Rd that officers have been examining a part of their search.

Divers arrived on the scene on Wednesday afternoon and used specialist cameras to search two water tanks on the property where William was last seen.

They then moved to the second search site along Batar Creek Rd, where officers and RFS personnel have been digging up the ground above the creek bed with an excavator and combing through the soil by hand under the guidance of a hydrologist.

The divers searched a dam roughly the size of a tennis court on a private property about 500m from the dig site.

Despite the lack of DNA evidence, Commissioner Webb told 2GB she is confident police will uncover what happened to William.

“There’s no stones (left) unturned,” she said.

“It’s been seven years now, and that’s a long time, but we’re not going to give up.”

New search site revealed

One of the sites police are digging in the renewed search has been revealed as a riding school for people with disabilities where William’s foster mother drove to on the morning the boy disappeared.

Six days after William vanished on September 12, 2014, his foster mother retraced her steps with police officers.

Footage shows the foster parents taking officers through a “walk through” of what happened the day William disappeared.

The foster mother told police she drove down Batar Creek Road looking for William and stopped at a riding school to let a car behind her pass, taking a moment to make sure he wasn’t nearby.

“I get to the riding school and I just think, ‘he’s not here’,” she told police.

“Then I bring the car back up and I just run out and look for him again.”

In the renewed search this week, it is understood that at least one of the three police dig sites is on the property where the riding school was located at the time of William’s disappearance.

The organisation, which provides opportunities for disabled people to ride horses, relocated in 2016, two years after William vanished from the front of his foster grandmother’s home.

William’s foster mother has recently emerged as a person of interest in the disappearance. She has previously declared her family had “nothing to hide” and had been thoroughly investigated by police and even the target of covert surveillance, following which she was cleared as a suspect in the investigation.

Being a person of interest does not necessarily suggest William’s foster mother is a suspect.

The foster mother has not been arrested or charged in relation to William’s disappearance.

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