The case of missing child William Tyrrell is set to be presented to the Deputy State Coroner as an inquest in 2019.
September 12 marks four years since the three-year-old’s disappearance at Kendall, and the question of ‘where is William Tyrrell’ remains in the minds of the local community, his family and the nation.
Investigators from the Homicide Squad’s Strike Force Rosann acknowledged the continued strength and courage of William Tyrrell’s families.
“Over the past year, investigators have continued to explore lines of inquiry in an effort to find out what happened to William, including a large-scale forensic search,” a spokesperson from NSW Police said.
Strike Force Rosann, which includes a contingent from the Public Order and Riot Squad, originally returned to Kendall on June 13 to execute a renewed search for information into the then three-year-old’s disappearance from his grandmother’s home.
More than 15,000 pieces of information and lines of inquiry over the last three and a half years brought the Strike Force back to where it all started.
A line of inquiry into a ‘high risk’ person of interest led to another search location in the vicinity of Batar Creek Road and Cedar Loggers Lane, Batar Creek on Wednesday, June 27.
The month-long forensic search of bushland at Kendall concluded on Thursday, July 5.
A NSW Police spokesperson said Strike Force Rosann is engaged with the NSW Coroner and it is proposed an inquest will be held before Deputy State Coroner Harriet Grahame in 2019.
“Her Honour has requested a brief of evidence, which will be provided by the year’s end,” she said.
“The brief will cover various aspects of the investigation, as determined by the Coroner.
“The inquest will be an opportunity to test information and evidence gathered by Strike Force Rosann and further the investigation.”
The NSW Police spokesperson said this was another step in ensuring answers are provided to William’s loved ones.
“William’s families have been informed of this development and have requested their privacy at this time,” she said.
Deputy State Coroner Harriet Grahame visited the search zone at Benaroon Drive, Kendall on Tuesday, July 3.
At the time, a spokesperson from NSW Police said Ms Grahame was at the site for observational reasons while the forensic search took place.
Detective Chief Inspector Gary Jubelin, head of Strike Force Rosann, said at the start of the search there were still strong lines of inquiry and people of interest that have their focus.
The Strike Force is continuing its inquiries and remains focused on providing answers to his family.
At the conclusion of the two day search at Batar Creek, Det Ch Insp Jubelin said there was a person who knew why investigators searched the area.
“They will no doubt be feeling pressure from the intensity of the investigation,” he said.
“I believe people close to this person might notice a change in their behaviour.
“I would encourage them to come forward with any information they have – William's family need answers as to what happened to their little boy.”
William’s biological grandmother told media the forensic search was pointless because he isn’t there.
A NSW Police spokesperson said they would not respond to her comments because it was not in the investigation’s interest.
William would have celebrated his seventh birthday on June 26.
Volunteers on the Mid North Coast were recognised for their assistance in the ongoing investigation into the 2014 disappearance of William Tyrrell.
Plaques were presented to the NSW SES, NSW Rural Fire Service, Salvation Army and the Camden Haven Show Society on Tuesday, July 3. Volunteers gave up their family, work and leisure time to contribute the large-scale operation.
Volunteers from Camden Haven, Wauchope, Port Macquarie Hastings, Forster Pacific Palms, Taree, Wingham and other areas on the Mid North Coast were involved.
Det Ch Insp Jubelin said the assistance of local emergency services volunteers was imperative to the search operation.
“The volunteers bring a wealth of knowledge of the local area and an understanding of search operations, which allow the areas to be cleared professionally without disturbing the underlying areas,” he said.
Det Ch Insp Jubelin said the purpose of the evidence, “whether it’s presented to a court – coroner or criminal – is to prove that beyond reasonable doubt, William’s disappearance was the result of human intervention and not misadventure”.
He said time will be no barrier to finding evidence and refused to conclude the search for William had exhausted all possibility of an outcome.
"We have not given up on this investigation. We are committed to finding out what happened to William. We are mindful it has been three and half years since William disappeared and we still have not solved this matter,” Det Ch Insp Jubelin said.
He said among those many lines of inquiry were early allegations of an active paedophile ring operating out of the mid north coast.
“Until this matter is solved we will keep all lines of inquiry open. We need conclusive evidence before I can say one thing or another. That line of inquiry was a legitimate line of inquiry that we’ve explored and that didn’t provide any information that led to the charging of any person or the recovery of William.
“What we have done is build up a database of evidence that we readily refer to. The search we are doing and the defined areas we are looking at is for a reason.
“Everything we do is planned. There is strategy behind every time we talk to the media and every inquiry we do. It's not done in an ad hoc fashion.”
I suggest you come to us before we come to you.Det Ch Insp Gary Jubelin
Police have previously ruled out his foster and biological families as having played a role in his disappearance.
“We strongly believe there are people out there who have information on this and I make a point to those people – if you do have information concerning what happened to William you are at risk of committing a criminal offence by concealing an offence if you do not come forward,” Det Insp Jubelin said.
“I suggest you come to us before we come to you.”
Strike Force Rosann continues to brief the family on the investigation and the latest leads and thanked the Kendall community for its ongoing support.