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Mysterious piece of cloth seized from drained creek by cops in William Tyrrell search

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Police have seized a piece of cloth on the bank of a stagnant pool of water in the hunt for William Tyrrell’s remains and taken it away for forensic analysis.

The find happened near ‘Area 1’ of the William Tyrrell dig site just after 11am.

The discovery created immediate interest, with a police officer taking a camera, evidence bag and gloves to meet forensic specialist Professor Jon Olley at the pool’s edge.

A find two hours earlier of a fabric sample by the same pool had been immediately discounted by the professor.

But on the second occasion, he spent up to 10 minutes with the officer as she photographed it in situ, donned gloves, poured a liquid on the item and bagged it in a a brown paper evidence pack. 

The latest evidence was found on the right side of a stagnant end of the creek drained last night. 

The light blue-coloured piece of fabric, measuring roughly 8cm x 8cm will be taken back to the NSW Forensic Medicine headquarters in the Sydney suburb of Lidcombe. 

Forensic specialist Professor Jon Olley examines a piece of blue cloth found on Friday morning at the edge of a pool of stagnant water classified as 'Area 1' of the William Tyrrell dig site

Forensic specialist Professor Jon Olley examines a piece of blue cloth found on Friday morning at the edge of a pool of stagnant water classified as ‘Area 1’ of the William Tyrrell dig site

Professor Jon Olley works with a NSW Police forensics officer at the edge of a pool of stagnant water which runs through a culvert underneath Batar Creek Road in Kendall, near the property where William Tyrrell vanished from in September 2014

Professor Jon Olley works with a NSW Police forensics officer at the edge of a pool of stagnant water which runs through a culvert underneath Batar Creek Road in Kendall, near the property where William Tyrrell vanished from in September 2014

ANSW Police Forensic officer collects a piece of blue cloth from the creek bank at Cobb & Co road near the house where William Tyrrell vanished in 2014

ANSW Police Forensic officer collects a piece of blue cloth from the creek bank at Cobb & Co road near the house where William Tyrrell vanished in 2014

The light blue-coloured piece of fabric, measuring roughly 8cm x 8cm, was bagged (above)

The light blue-coloured piece of fabric, measuring roughly 8cm x 8cm, was bagged (above)

The new find will be taken back to the NSW Forensic Medicine headquarters in the Sydney suburb of Lidcombe

The new find will be taken back to the NSW Forensic Medicine headquarters in the Sydney suburb of Lidcombe

The find happened as Professor Olley was supervising the search of a muddy creek bed which had been drained overnight by a pump.

Police have marked with a string line an area of scraped earth above the creek bed.  

Professor Olley, who found murdered Queensland schoolboy Daniel Morcombe’s remains in 2011, is supervising the search of a muddy creek bed which had been drained overnight by a pump. 

He and police are working swiftly ahead of predicted heavy rain this weekend which could refill the drained creek.

Up to 20mmm of rain on Saturday and twice that on Sunday is forecast for Kendall, and with the site scoured of ground vegetation, the rainwater would flow more rapidly down the banks.

Police said work would continue unless the site became ‘a quagmire’.   

An electrical pump emptied the waterway from a creek near the Kendall property where William Tyrrell went missing overnight on Thursday and the area is now clear for expert work to begin

An electrical pump emptied the waterway from a creek near the Kendall property where William Tyrrell went missing overnight on Thursday and the area is now clear for expert work to begin

Hydrologist Professor Jon Olley (centre), who found murdered Queensland schoolboy Daniel Morcombe's remains in 2011, spent most of Thursday working around the now-cleared creek area

Hydrologist Professor Jon Olley (centre), who found murdered Queensland schoolboy Daniel Morcombe’s remains in 2011, spent most of Thursday working around the now-cleared creek area

A policeman dons gum boots to walk into the muddy bottom of a cleared creek near the Kendall property where William Tyrrell went missing

A policeman dons gum boots to walk into the muddy bottom of a cleared creek near the Kendall property where William Tyrrell went missing

An electrical pump emptied the waterway from the creek overnight on Thursday and the area is now clear for Professor Olley to commence work.

It is one of three areas in Kendall, including the house from which William disappeared in 2014, being searched by Strike Force Rosann.

Rural Fire Service officers yesterday finished removing tonnes of undergrowth and thinned trees around the creek bed edges ahead of ‘doing the creek bed’ today.

Just before operations began today, a team of 50 police, RFS and ambulance officers, as well as civilian personnel and scientists posed for a group photo on the site and cheered.

They then donned gum boots to walk into the muddy creek bottom.

The dig site through which the now-drained creek runs is about the size of two city terrace house blocks and is joined by fire trails with the backs of the houses along the street where William vanished.

A few minutes before 9am, Professor Olley was called over to the edge of a pool of stagnant water which runs through a culvert underneath Batar Creek Road and feeds into the newly-drained creek. 

RFS officers notified police they had found an item – which looks like a piece of cloth or dark plastic – which had washed up onto the side of the stagnant pool. 

Professor Olley then inspected the piece, with police media telling Daily Mail Australia a few minutes later: ‘They found something but it’s nothing’. 

The search for the remains of missing three-year-old William Tyrrell is entering its fifth day on the NSW mid north coast. Professor Olley told Daily Mail Australia that the Tyrrell search site was 'more complex' partly because it was over a larger area. He said that items of interest may have been washed up on neighbouring properties to the site

The search for the remains of missing three-year-old William Tyrrell is entering its fifth day on the NSW mid north coast. Professor Olley told Daily Mail Australia that the Tyrrell search site was ‘more complex’ partly because it was over a larger area. He said that items of interest may have been washed up on neighbouring properties to the site

Fire officers are now working with chainsaws clearing a patch 100m up the road from where the creek search is taking place. 

In 2011, Professor Olley spent two months at a site near the Glasshouse Mountains recovering three bones and two shoes belonging to Daniel Morcombe, who had been murdered in 2003.

At that site, which had been subjected to two major floods since the schoolboy’s remains had been discarded there, 500 cubic metres of sand was removed.

After the area was reduced by a metre to the same level, Professor Olley found ‘undulations’ in a surface under which he made the discovery of the boy’s remains.  

Professor Olley told Daily Mail Australia that the Tyrrell search site was ‘more complex’ partly because it was over a larger area. He said that items of interest may have been washed up on neighbouring properties to the site. 

The search for the remains of missing three-year-old William Tyrrell is entering its fifth day on the NSW mid north coast.

Police examine a patch of bushland near to the house where William Tyrrell went missing in 2014 assisted by forensic graves expert Dr Tony Lowe (centre)

Police examine a patch of bushland near to the house where William Tyrrell went missing in 2014 assisted by forensic graves expert Dr Tony Lowe (centre)

The carefully preserved scene at a patch of bushland near to William Tyrrell's foster grandmother's house in Kendall, where the three-year-old was last seen

The carefully preserved scene at a patch of bushland near to William Tyrrell’s foster grandmother’s house in Kendall, where the three-year-old was last seen

Australian Federal Police officers brought in ground penetrating radar to scan a concrete slab at the Kendall property on Thursday but no abnormalities were discovered under the surface

Australian Federal Police officers brought in ground penetrating radar to scan a concrete slab at the Kendall property on Thursday but no abnormalities were discovered under the surface

On Thursday, Australian Federal Police officers brought in ground penetrating radar to scan a concrete slab at the Kendall property that belonged to the boy’s foster grandmother.

William disappeared from the property seven years ago, but the slab was laid after that. Nothing, however, was detected under the slab.

It comes after police investigated theories he may have fallen from a balcony at the property.

Earlier this week police also seized a Mazda that previously belonged to the foster grandmother, who has since died.

Cadaver dogs have also been on the scene.

One of the last known pictures taken of William Tyrrell on the day he disappeared from his foster grandmother's house at Kendall on the mid north coast of NSW

One of the last known pictures taken of William Tyrrell on the day he disappeared from his foster grandmother’s house at Kendall on the mid north coast of NSW

William Tyrrell's foster mother leaves her north shore home in Sydney on Thursday. She and her husband were charged over an unrelated alleged assault on a different child on Wednesday

William Tyrrell’s foster mother leaves her north shore home in Sydney on Thursday. She and her husband were charged over an unrelated alleged assault on a different child on Wednesday

An ongoing search in an area of bush near the Kendall home is continuing, having sparked excitement on Wednesday afternoon as police examined an item that turned out to be unrelated.

That same day police also charged the boy’s former foster parents over an unrelated alleged assault on a different child.

The pair are due to face court at Hornsby on Tuesday

Prime Minister Scott Morrison praised investigating police officers on Thursday, saying they have made ‘huge inroads’ and would ‘never stop’ looking into the mysterious disappearance.

The continuing search comes as William’s biological grandmother opened up about the ‘shambolic’ police investigation into the little boy’s disappearance.

The woman, who cannot be identified for legal reasons, told A Current Affair on Thursday night that she was kept in the dark by detectives in the initial stages of the investigation.  

‘The foster care people, they knew everything and we knew nothing,’ she said.  

William's biological grandmother opened up about the 'shambolic' police investigation into the little boy's disappearance on A Current Affair on Thursday evening

William’s biological grandmother opened up about the ‘shambolic’ police investigation into the little boy’s disappearance on A Current Affair on Thursday evening

The woman, whose son is William’s biological father, recounted supervised visits her son and his partner would have with William before the nightmare ordeal began.

‘So, we were just having a little picnic – out jumps the foster care mother… and starts giving the kids lollipops and Kinder Surprises,’ she said.

‘So she was just like watching what’s going on. My son used to always say he was too scared to love his kids… he was too scared to love them for an hour of supervised visits.’  

She said she has no idea what happened to William but painfully revealed: ‘He’s not alive. I knew he wasn’t alive for the last seven years. So, I’m just scared.’ 

Timeline of William Tyrrell’s disappearance 

2014

September 12 – Dressed in a Spider-Man outfit, three-year-old William Tyrrell goes missing from the garden while visiting members of his foster family on the NSW north coast.

September 21 – Police stop searching for the missing boy after scouring surrounding bushland and neighbouring houses.

2015

January 20 – Police search the home and business of washing machine repairman Bill Spedding, who had been due to carry out repairs at the house at the time the three-year-old went missing.

Detectives take items for testing including a mattress, computer and vehicles. They drain his septic tank.

January 23 – The washing machine repairman publicly denies any involvement in William’s disappearance and says he and his wife are on the verge of a breakdown due to the public attention.

February 19 – Homicide detectives take over the case and say it’s likely William was abducted.

March 2 – Police fruitlessly search an area of bushland near Bonny Hills for three days after a tip-off.

April 17 – William’s foster parents speak publicly for the first time in an emotional video released through police which does not identify them.

April 17 – Police say the boy may have been a victim of a paedophile ring.

September 6 – The Nine Network’s 60 Minutes reveal two suspicious cars were parked on the street the morning William went missing.

September 12 – ‘Where’s William’ week is launched one year after he disappeared.

2016

September 12 – A $1million reward is offered for information leading to William’s return.

2017

August 24 – William’s foster child status is revealed after a landmark court ruling.

2018

June 12 – NSW Police announce the start of a four-week forensic search of bushland conducted by Strike Force Rosann.

June 14 – William’s grandmother scolds police who have failed to find the young boy after four years, and claims their latest search is ‘just for show’.

June 26 – The forensic search continues on what would have been William’s seventh birthday.

June 27 – Strike Force Rosann announces it will move the search to an 800sqm block of bushland just 4km from where William was last seen alive.

June 5 – The latest search ends with Detective Chief Inspector Gary Jubelin saying the case could soon go to a coroner.

August – Investigation leader Detective Chief Inspector Gary Jubelin and a sergeant get into a disagreement during a briefing.

September 13 – Police reveal they found a burned out car wreck belonging to a former person of interest.

December 19 – Coroners say William could still be alive and the inquest will determine if he died or not.

2019

February – DCI Jubelin is removed from the investigation amid a misconduct probe.

March 25 – The inquest into William Tyrrell’s disappearance begins, with William’s biological and foster parents appearing over the course of a week.

The inquest’s first batch of hearings focused on William’s family situation and the events leading up to his disappearance.

Both his foster and biological parents were quizzed, as were neighbours who helped in the search.

It was disclosed that William’s biological parents absconded with him for six weeks in 2012, following a children’s court order.

William’s biological father slammed authorities for letting them down.

‘Authorities f***ed up … The minister had a duty of care to keep William safe until he was 18. That was not the case at all.’

May: DCI Jubelin quits the Police Force.

June: Four charges of breaching the Surveillance Devices Act are laid against DCI Jubelin. He denies any wrongdoing whatsover

August: The second tranche of inquest hearings began on Wednesday August 7

Inquest hears Bill Spedding, a NSW mid-north coast repairman and one-time person of interest in the disappearance of William Tyrrell, met his wife for coffee about 9.30am in Laurieton, a 15-minute drive from Kendall, on the day William went missing.

They then attended a school assembly across the road to see a child in their care receive an award.

The inquest heard how a man who claims he saw William Tyrrell unrestrained in the back of a speeding car on the day the child went missing was waiting for police to interview him to tell them what he saw.

He told the inquest he contacted police but did not hear back about an interview.

It took it took almost 1000 days before he was able to reveal what he saw to police.

The coroner orders an urgent probe into the final image that was taken on the day William vanished as metadata suggests the picture may have been taken 118 minutes earlier than originally thought.

The image has a ‘created time’ of 7.39am and a ‘corrected time’ of 9.37am, a new document from the 2000-page evidence brief.

The coronial inquest has been delayed for another eight months with the next round of hearings happening in March 2020.

November 11: The deputy state coroner releases footage of William Tyrrell and family at Heatherbrae McDonalds, on September 11, 2014

Feb – March 2020: Gary Jubelin defends four charges of illegally recording person of interest Paul Savage in court hearing

February 21: Daily Mail Australia reveals Frank Abbott was arrested in custody for the purposes of a police interview about William’s disappearance

March 2020: The coronial inquest into William’s disappearance resumes but stops with two days to go due to the coronavirus outbreak

April 6, 2020: Magistrate Ross Hudson delivers his verdict in Gary Jubelin case

April 8, 2020: Jubelin is convicted of all four charges and fined $10,000. Ex-cop says he will appeal

June 22, 2020: Police and SES launch new search for William Tyrrell near Herons Creek, where Abbott once lived

June 26, 2021: Police acknowledge William Tyrrell’s 10th birthday

November 15, 2021: Detectives return to Kendall after receiving new information and admit they are searching for a body. His foster parents are reported to be persons of interest in the case

 



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