ActivePaper Archive Bush search yields more clues - The West Australian , 11/23/2021

Bush search yields more clues

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Police used chainsaws and a cadaver dog as they combed through tonnes of soil in muddy bush near the home where William Tyrrell was last seen alive.

Hundreds of police officers have descended on the small town of Kendall in rural NSW as the search effort surrounding the missing boy enters its second week.

Massive amounts of evidence have been collected by investigators since the search for the boy was renewed, with the focus centring on the house and nearby bush near where the three-year-old vanished.

An excavator was used to dig a big hole in a yard near to the bush, with police set to sift through each scoop of dirt.

William disappeared from his foster grandmother’s home in Kendall on September 14, 2014, with the boy last seen playing with his sister while wearing a Spider-Man outfit. William’s foster mother is now a key person of interest, with police investigating whether the boy fell from a balcony to his death and his body was placed in nearby bush.

Police have been combing through mounds of soil since last week to send back to a lab for forensic testing.

Rain has slowed the operation down for investigators, but small pieces of evidence have piqued police interest, with detectives placing a yellow exhibit on Monday next to a red-brown string. An hour later, officers scraping through the dirt downed their tools and marched further into the dense bush clearing out debris for what will become the next part of the dig.

Investigators initially said the search would only take two weeks, but it may now stretch out for months. NSW Police Commissioner Mick Fuller said investigations would continue “until investigators believe that job is done”.

More than 15 tonnes of soil has been taken to a lab for analysis. Mr Fuller said it could be “weeks and weeks of searching through that before we have any answers”.

Police have already sent “material and other things found up there that would be foreign to normal bushlands” for DNA testing.

Mr Fuller said police could still be looking for “a number of weeks” and there were still “lots of questions that need to be answered”.

“A big part of that is either locating his body or remains of his body at Kendall. We want to be certain that the search is being done as thoroughly as possible,” he said.

Last week, police charged the boy’s former foster parents over an unrelated alleged assault of a different child.