THE lead detective in the case of missing boy William Tyrrell has addressed the media for the first time in a year pleading with the public to not waste their time with “children running around in Spider-Man outfits”.
Detective Chief Inspector Gary Jubelin said police had not and will not give up on the case.
“Our team is mindful of the unresolved grief William’s family is feeling at the moment, and as investigators we are seeking to provide answers above all else,” Det Ch Insp Jubelin said.
“The last 12 months hasn’t been any easier than previous years — we are frustrated that after three years we are not where we want to be — but we are still determined to find out what happened to young William.
“During this time, we have substantially reduced our list of potential persons of interest, however, this is a dynamic investigation, just as we will exhaust a line of inquiry, we will add new persons of interest when they come into our sights.”
Det Ch Insp Jubeline called on the public to help but urged them not to waste their time with trivial sightings.
“We are not interested in sightings of children running around in Spider-Man outfits in a McDonald’s carpark.
“What we really want is to hear from those who know what happened in that yard on September 12, 2014.
“We are interested in speaking to people who suspect someone they know may have information specifically related to his disappearance.
“We’re looking for people with concerns about people they know, their family whose reaction when William’s name is mentioned causes suspicion.”
Shortly before 10.30am on Friday September 12, 2014, William, then aged three, was playing in the yard of his grandmother’s home on Benaroon Drive, Kendall, on the mid-north coast, when he disappeared.
Within a few short hours, hundreds of local residents and emergency service workers combed the rural township’s forests, creeks and paddocks looking for the little boy.
It comes as the biological grandmother of William Tyrrell described today’s third anniversary of his vanishing as a “sad day she never wanted to see”.
While William’s biological mother Karlie Tyrrell told the Daily Telegraph she did not wish to comment about her son’s disappearance, grandmother Natalie Collins described it as an “terrible reminder” of Australia’s most famous missing person case.
“It’s heartbreaking,” said Mrs Collins, 57, whose son Brendan Collins has been revealed as William’s father. “It’s affected everyone terribly.”
The family have kept out of the spotlight until now, leaving public comments to be made by police and the foster family, who were caring for William and his sister when he went missing.
But a Supreme Court judgment last month allowed Brendan Collins and Karlie Tyrrell to be publicly identified as William’s biological parents.
Brendan Collins, who had been in and out of jail on petty crime and drugs charges, has been “left shattered” by the loss of his son, say friends.
Mrs Collins said one of the charges her son faced related to shoplifting “children’s toys” and were a psychological “cry for help”.
William’s mother Karlie Tyrrell has moved on with her life in Sydney’s western suburbs and is concentrating on bringing up her two other young sons, William’s younger siblings.
Dressed casually in ripped jeans, sunnies and a singlet, the single mum popped down to the local shops last week to buy milk for the preschoolers, who bear an uncanny resemblance to their missing brother.
The boys looked well cared for, with the younger child neatly attired in a buttoned-up blue shirt and long pants.
William’s foster parents, who continue to care for his older sister, who has not been publicly named, yesterday released an official statement marking the third anniversary of their loss.
“Where are you William?” they posted on an official Where’s William website. “Where are you our precious little boy?
“Tomorrow will mark the third anniversary of your abduction and three tragic years of unspeakable heartbreak and endless tears.
“Tomorrow will mark three years without you, three years of not knowing where you are, three years of keeping hope in our hearts that with every new tomorrow will come the day that you’ll be found.”
The judge said “tragically” the probability was that William was “no longer alive” as the investigation was now being conducted as a homicide.
Online action group W4W Walking Warriors Australia — who fought the FACS suppression orders over the case — are calling on NSW Coroner Michael Barnes to order an inquest.
Mr Barnes previously led the inquest into the 2003 death of 13-year-old Daniel Morcombe in Queensland, which was crucial in identifying his killer.
“It’s time,” W4W Walking Warriors spokeswoman Carol Walker said. “William has been missing for far too long.
“I’ve lost faith in the investigation, it needs to be looked at by someone removed from the case … too many things don’t add up.”
But a spokesman for the coroner ruled out an inquest at this stage, stating it would be “premature” as the police investigation was ongoing.
Neither William’s foster family nor his biological parents are suspected of any involvement in his disappearance.
There is a $1 million reward for information that leads to William’s recovery. Anyone with information should call Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.