News Tragic end to search for autistic teenager missing in Yarra Ranges

Tragic end to search for autistic teenager missing in Yarra Ranges

Police say the search, involving SES officers, will likely resume at first light. Photo: ABC News
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The search for a 14-year-old boy missing in Victoria’s Yarra Ranges has ended in tragedy after his body was found in Yarra Junction on Wednesday afternoon.

William Wall, described as having high-functioning autism,  left his home at nearby Launching Place east of Melbourne at about 6.45am on Tuesday for his regular walk on the Warburton Trail.

He told his family he would be back in 15 minutes.

When he did not return, police launched an air and ground search.

Police on Wednesday confirmed that William had been located, deceased in Yarra Junction.

Victoria Police said the boy’s death is not being treated as suspicious and a report would be prepared for the Coroner.

“We would like to thank the media and all those involved in the search.”

William Wall has been missing for more than 24 hours. Photo: Victoria Police

Before the sad discovery,  William’s father was emotional as he thanked those involved in the search effort.

“The police, the SES are doing a top job, and people are getting out there and his brothers’ mates are just all over the place,” he said.

He added if William was found, they should speak to the boy calmly.

Mr Wall also thanked locals for their help.

“Just say his mum wants to talk to him – he probably responds a bit better than coming to me, in most cases,” he said.

“Just come home – we want you home.

The search resumed on Wednesday morning, with State Emergency Service volunteers assisting police with the search.

On Tuesday, police said they were concerned William became lost or disoriented on his walk.