William’s sister’s heartbreaking vow

 

William Tyrrell's sister, now ten years old, has vowed to become a detective when she grows up to solve the case of her missing brother.

It has been six years and 26 days since the three-year-old boy in a Spider-Man suit vanished from his foster grandmother's home in the quiet northern NSW town of Kendall.

The disappearance became one of Australia's most high profile missing person cases, and tore apart the lives of his birth and foster families.

But no trace of him has ever been found.

On Thursday, deputy state coroner Harriet Grahame heard from William's families on the final day of an inquest that has run for a year and a half.

It has been six years and 26 days since the three-year-old boy in a Spider-Man suit vanished from his foster grandmother’s home in the quiet northern NSW town of Kendall. Pic Police Media
It has been six years and 26 days since the three-year-old boy in a Spider-Man suit vanished from his foster grandmother’s home in the quiet northern NSW town of Kendall. Pic Police Media

A recording of William's sister, who is now 10, was played to the court. She, and William's other family members, cannot be identified for legal reasons.

"I hope this speech makes you solve the case," she said in the recording, clearly and confidently.

"If it doesn't, when I'm officially an adult I'll be in the police force, a detective specifically, and I will find my brother and won't give up until he's found."

She described William as only an older sister can: "a loving, kind, sweet boy who was annoying at times".

They would play games about enchanted forests, tigers and go-carts together.

"But the day he disappeared we lost everything," she said. "We lost my innocent brother."

"He now needs to be found so please help our family but most of all help me find our precious William."

William’s sister described him as only an older sister can: “a loving, kind, sweet boy who was annoying at times”. Picture: Supplied
William’s sister described him as only an older sister can: “a loving, kind, sweet boy who was annoying at times”. Picture: Supplied

William's father loved him very much and was "desperate" to keep him, his lawyer Michelle Swift said as she read a statement on behalf of the birth family.

On the first contact visit after William was taken into foster care, he "jumped out of the pram like a kangaroo" and into his father's lap, she said.

"William's father lost William twice. Once when FACS took him into foster care and once when he disappeared," she said.

"William's father has had difficulty handling his grief. There's just too much of it."

William's foster parents handed Magistrate Grahame two photo albums of William.

"The third book I just can't bring myself to do," his foster mother said, crying. "It's the year he went missing."

She described the journey home from Kendall, days after William had gone missing.

"We didn't want to go," she said. "William's empty car seat next to his sister's on the back seat along with his clothes, his bedtime toys, absolutely tore at our hearts."

Detective Inspector Mark Dukes, the officer in charge of the William Tyrrell investigation, at the NSW State Coroners Court in Sydney. Picture: NCA NewsWire/Bianca De Marchi
Detective Inspector Mark Dukes, the officer in charge of the William Tyrrell investigation, at the NSW State Coroners Court in Sydney. Picture: NCA NewsWire/Bianca De Marchi

The foster parents asked Magistrate Grahame to recommend police secure missing persons scenes differently in future.

After William disappeared, hordes of search volunteers descended onto the Benaroon Drive home, destroying any potential evidence.

Both family statements spoke of the painful public glare the families have been subjected to, including accusations they were involved in William's disappearance.

On Wednesday, Detective Chief Inspector David Laidlaw said the police investigation was still very much a live one, though the number of investigators searching for William has dwindled from 26 at its height to five. Picture: John Grainger
On Wednesday, Detective Chief Inspector David Laidlaw said the police investigation was still very much a live one, though the number of investigators searching for William has dwindled from 26 at its height to five. Picture: John Grainger

On Wednesday, Detective Chief Inspector David Laidlaw said the police investigation was still very much a live one, though the number of investigators searching for William has dwindled from 26 at its height to five.

He said the investigation has been unable to exclude a single person since William disappeared.

"It is out of respect for William's life that we have gone through this difficult and painful process and we continue to go through the process," Magistrate Grahame said as she closed the inquest.

"I take the task before me very seriously. Please know that many people, myself included, remain committed to finding the truth.

She will hand down her findings on June 18, 2021.

Originally published as William's sister's heartbreaking vow


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