"WE are looking for the remains of William Tyrrell."
It is the first time in the seven-year investigation for the child who went missing from his grandmother's yard in Kendall on NSW's North Coast that the police narrative has specifically assumed William Tyrrell is deceased.
Hundreds of NSW police officers will descend on the small village south of Port Macquarie once again for a series of "high intensity" searches following the revelation there is new evidence in the investigation.
Police investigators believe these searches could uncover who took William.
Detective Chief Superintendent Darren Bennett says the searches will last two to three weeks and some would be "subterranean", AAP reported on Monday (November 15)
"It's highly likely that if we found something it would be a body," Det Ch Supt Bennett told reporters on Monday.
"We are looking for the remains of William Tyrrell, there's no doubt about that."
The three-year-old was last seen wearing a Spider-Man suit in the garden of his foster grandmother's home in Kendall in 2014.
I don't know who took William but we are hoping to find out through this investigation.Detective Chief Superintendent Darren Bennett
Within hours residents and emergency service workers combed the scrub, creeks and paddocks for him.
Police formed the view the disappearance stemmed from human intervention, and in March 2019 a coronial inquest was held into William's disappearance.
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Det Ch Supt Bennett said the three locations to be searched in the coming weeks were in the Kendall area.
"I don't know who took William but we are hoping to find out through this investigation," he said.
A $1 million reward is in place for information that leads to William being found.
Homicide detectives in September returned to Kendall on the seventh anniversary of William's disappearance.
Seven years and still no answers
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.
Hundreds of residents and emergency service workers and volunteers searched homes, forests, creeks and paddocks throughout the rural township, but William could not be located.
Detectives and analysts from the State Crime Command's Homicide Squad have been investigating the circumstances surrounding William's disappearance from the outset under Strike Force Rosann.
They have been working under the premise that his disappearance was as a result of human intervention.
The Strike Force returned to Kendall in 2018 for another forensic search of the area.
Then Detective Chief Inspector Gary Jubelin said at that time that while there was no evidence of William being in the location, there is a person who knows why investigators were searching this area.
The Strike Force wanted absolute certainty they have the investigation covered should it result in an arrest or go to an inquest, he said.
Since that time, Strike Force Rosann has conducted extensive investigations and actively engaged with the Deputy State Coroner Harriet Grahame during the coronial process.
Detectives are continuing to conduct interviews, searches and other investigative activity, including those under Coronial Orders, as well as reviewing all available materials with the assistance of various experts.
The coronial inquest commenced into William's disappearance in March 2019 and remains ongoing.
The inquest has considered thousands of pieces of evidence collected by Strike Force Rosann, statements by persons of interest and recollections by family and neighbours of the morning William vanished.
The inquest concluded in Lidcombe Coroner's Court in Sydney on October 8, 2020. with an emotional plea by his 10-year-old sister - "I will find my brother and not give up until he is found".
The coronial inquest findings were to be handed down by Deputy State Coroner Grahame in June 2021. A new date has not been determined.