William Tyrrell focus turns to one person as police seize car in Sydney

Five square metres of bushland has become the priority in the search for missing boy William Tyrrell as police investigate if he fell from a balcony to his death and say their focus is on one person of interest.

William, aged three, was last seen playing outside his foster grandmother’s house in Kendall on the NSW Mid North Coast in September 2014.

NSW Police search the gardens below a balcony at the home from which William Tyrrell disappeared.Credit:Wolter Peeters/Supplied

Investigators on Tuesday returned to the home in the town of Kendall from where he vanished, bringing a cadaver dog to the property for the first time.

Acting on the new and very specific information that led to the latest search, police are investigating whether William fell from the five-metre balcony at his foster grandmother’s house to his death.

On Wednesday morning, police said they had seized a Mazda from a home in Gymea, in Sydney’s south, under a coronial order on Tuesday last week. The vehicle was taken to a secure facility and is undergoing forensic examinations, which are expected to take several weeks.

“This activity relates to inquiries and search operations currently being conducted in the Kendall area,” police said in a statement.

On Tuesday, dozens of officers dug up the garden below the second-storey balcony in Kendall, sifting through dirt and spraying luminol, a chemical that detects traces of blood.

On Tuesday night, investigators ran lights over the chemical, which would be illuminated if blood had been there.

The information that sparked the latest search for William also has investigators focused on a five-metre square patch of bushland that Rural Fire Service volunteers on Tuesday were clearing of trees ahead of an excavation planned for later this week.

If William’s body had been in that area, hydrologist Professor Jon Olley has concluded that his remains — either bones or a scrap of clothing — could only be in a nearby tributary on private land.

Investigators will search that area in the coming days as more officers from NSW Police arrive in Kendall.

Police are deploying cadaver dogs in the search.Credit:Photo: Wolter Peeters

Dozens of officers led by Detective Chief Inspector David Laidlaw will also search a third area — the land abutting the road between the house and the bushland.

Police Commissioner Mick Fuller on Tuesday said there was one person of interest in the investigation.

“There is certainly one person in particular that we are looking closely at,” he told Sydney radio station 2GB.

Police have been zeroing in on that particular person for the past 18 months.

More than 600 persons of interest have been scrutinised since 2014 when it became apparent William had not simply wandered off.

The investigation has at various times looked at a paedophile ring, local handyman Bill Spedding, neighbour Paul Savage and convicted paedophile Frank Abbott.

Police investigating the disappearance of William Tyrrell seized a Mazda from a home in Gymea. Credit:NSW Police

Nobody has been charged with William’s death, and Mr Spedding — whose lawyer sensationally proved in the coronial inquest that he was at a school assembly during William’s disappearance — has said he will sue NSW Police for malicious prosecution and malfeasance in public office.

Homicide detective Gary Jubelin was stood down from the case for illegally recording a conversation with a suspect, then quit the NSW Police.

He has since been convicted and fined $10,000 for recording without a warrant on three occasions.

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