NSW Police to determine whether Tyrrell investigation will continue

NSW Police Minister David Elliott says detectives will announce whether the William Tyrrell investigation will be “taken further” at the end of the latest search in Kendall.

Specific new information led Strike Force Rosann investigators back to the Mid-North Coast town this week, where officers searched a five-metre square patch of bushland a kilometre from where William disappeared.

The former foster-mother of William Tyrrell leaves her home in Sydney.Credit:Kate Geraghty

“Police have obviously established a [strike] force … we expect that [search] will go over at least two weeks. When that is completed, the police will be making an appropriate announcement,” Mr Elliott said on Thursday.

In a major shift in the investigation, police are focusing on William’s foster-mother as a person of interest in the disappearance of the three-year-old boy who was playing at his foster-grandmother’s house in September 2014.

Investigators are working on the theory that William may have fallen to his death from a second-storey balcony, and have undertaken an intensive forensic search at the Benaroon Drive address.

About 100 police and specialist technicians have been digging up the garden and sifting through its soil at the home. Luminol testing, which reveals blood spatter, did not yield any results.

NSW Police search the gardens below a balcony at the home from which William Tyrrell disappeared.Credit:Wolter Peeters/Supplied

Next week, police will begin searching the area between the home and the nearby patch of bush for any forensic evidence that has been missed.

The Herald revealed on Wednesday that police will not charge anyone over William’s disappearance and presumed death without the physical evidence they hope this week’s search will procure.

It comes as former lead investigator Gary Jubelin, who was spectacularly removed from the case and later convicted of illegally recording former person of interest, claimed he had eliminated the foster parents as persons of interest based on a listening device in their car.

“I basically ambushed the [foster] parents. Then I interrogated the [foster] parents. Then I interviewed the [foster] parents. Then I released the [foster] parents with a covert operation running,” he said on 2GB.

Mr Jubelin claimed he had also probed whether William fell from the balcony.

“We investigated every theory, [did he die] of an accident: whether William was run over on the driveway, or fell over and hit his head on the rock, or fell off the balcony. That’s the most obvious place when you look at the house that a child could injure themselves,” he told 2GB.

“What you’ve got to do when you’re investigating homicide is you have theories, but you’ve got to overlay them with facts.”

Mr Jubelin said there was nothing to suggest the foster parents were involved in William’s disappearance.

“At the time I left the investigation, there was no evidence that concerned me that the foster-mother or foster-father were involved in William’s disappearance – if that’s changed, I’m not aware of it,” he said.

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