Police are searching a new area of bushland on the NSW mid-north coast after receiving a new lead in the ongoing investigation into the disappearance of William Tyrrell.
William, who would have turned seven this week, was playing in the yard of his foster grandmother’s home on Benaroon Drive, Kendall, when he disappeared in 2014.
He was wearing a Spider-Man suit at the time. No trace of him has been found since.
On Wednesday, police said they had received a new lead, after obtaining 15,000 bits of information since September 2014.
Earlier this month, police launched a large-scale forensic search in bushland around Kendall, looking for fresh evidence.
Detective Chief Inspector Gary Jubelin said the fresh search was to prove William disappeared because of human intervention – not misadventure.
That initial 10-day search was conducted in nearby forests, creeks and paddocks but returned no clues.
About 50 officers from Strike Force Rosann were investigating a revised three-square-kilometre search zone, about four kilometres from where William was last seen.
Chief Inspector Jubelin said he also hoped the fresh search would “rattle some cages” and put pressure on those he believed knew something about the case.
“I strongly believe that there are people out there who have information on this and I want to make a point to those people that if you do have information concerning what happened to William, you are committing an offence if you do not come forward,” he said on June 13.
Since William went missing, police have identified almost 700 people of interest, conducted hundreds of interviews and gathered more than 4000 pieces of evidence.
In 2016, on the second anniversary of William’s disappearance, NSW Police announced an unprecedented $1 million reward for information leading to his recovery.
Chief Inspector Jubelin has previously said that bringing a large police presence to the original crime scene can increase the pressure on those who might have information.
“I want that person to feel that everyone’s looking at them and let’s see where that takes us,” he said.
He has earlier said investigators have not ruled out William still being alive – but admitted they held grave concerns.
William’s foster parents have always said they would never give up looking for him and still maintain hope he will one day be found.