A number of key details in the William Tyrrell investigation have emerged overnight, as police continue to probe what happened to the missing boy.
A number of key details in the William Tyrrell investigation have emerged overnight, after police revealed the boy’s foster parents had been charged with the alleged assault of a child — not William — on Sydney’s upper north shore.
In the latest development, police are reportedly focusing on a key detail in the widely known image of three-year-old Tyrrell wearing a Spider-Man suit.
The photo was taken on the day the little boy disappeared and according to The Daily Telegraph, police are looking into detail surrounding witness statements from William’s foster mother, who claimed he was wearing shoes on the day he disappeared to protect his feet from bindis and dog poo.
In the image, taken less than an hour before he went missing, William is barefoot.
It is one of a number of inconsistencies in the statements from that fateful day that has seen detectives return to the home in Kendall where William was last seen.
The masthead reported police are also investigating the idea there were no bindis or dog poo on the lawn.
Earlier, detectives, who had been searching the Kendall home of William’s foster grandmother for the boy’s body were said to be focusing their investigation on the child’s foster mother.
According to The Daily Telegraph, the 56-year-old woman, who had been caring for William since March 2012, is now the key police suspect. She has not been arrested or charged over William’s disappearance.
Meanwhile, in an Australian exclusive, the foster parents are reportedly expected to fight the charges after NSW Police confirmed the couple were charged with common assault of a child, who cannot be named for legal reasons, on Wednesday.
Police said: “As part of ongoing investigations under Strike Force Rosann, detectives from the Homicide Squad received information relating to the suspected assault of a child at a home on Sydney’s Upper North Shore,” a NSW Police spokesperson said.
“Following inquiries, Strike Force Rosann detectives served Court Attendance Notices on legal representatives of a 56-year-old woman and a 54-year-old man earlier today.”
The pair are due to appear at Hornsby Local Court on Tuesday, November 23.
The charges do not relate to William.
According to the Australian’s Caroline Overington, the couple “vehemently deny” any harm to the child.
Footage aired of William’s foster parents
On Wednesday night, A Current Affair on Wednesday night aired footage from a “walk-through” police interview with the foster parents at the Kendall home soon after William disappeared.
“He never wanders. He’s not a wanderer,” William’s foster father says.
The program also aired conversations with William’s foster mum surrounding the Spider-Man suit at the time of his disappearance.
“I remember the discussion I had with him about putting on his Spider-Man clothes because I wanted him to wear a singlet – he didn’t want to wear a singlet, so the compromise was he’d wear a Spider-Man T-shirt underneath his Spider Man clothes.
“So he was spider manned out completely.”
On Monday, NSW Police Commissioner Mick Fuller said “there is one person in particular we are looking closely at”.
Earlier on Wednesday, police seized a car that once belonged to William’s foster grandmother.
The vehicle, a silver Mazda hatchback, was seized from a home in Gymea, in the Sutherland Shire, under a coronial order on November 9.
It is being held in a secure facility where forensic examinations and analysis is underway – a process detectives say will take “several weeks”.
The car belonged to William’s foster grandmother at the time he went missing. She died in March, aged 88.
News.com.au understands police are investigating whether the vehicle was used to move William’s body after his death.
The person who had ownership of the car at the time it was seized is not believed to be related to the disappearance of the three-year-old in 2014.
A woman at the house in Gymea told news.com.au on Wednesday she did not know William’s foster family and declined to comment further about how she came into possession of the car.
A neighbour then asked news.com.au to leave, declaring the entire street was private property.
The home sits at the end of a long gravel road in a semirural subdivision.
NSW Premier Dominic Perrottet described the situation as “heartbreaking” and thanked police for their ongoing work on Wednesday.
“Hopefully what we are seeing suggests that we’ll get a breakthrough shortly,” he said.
“I think I can speak on behalf of everyone across our state, who would be heartbroken by this entire story, that we hope we have a breakthrough as soon as possible.”
Shortly before 10.30am on September 12, 2014, William, then aged three, was playing in the yard of his grandmother’s home. At the time, hundreds of residents and emergency service workers and volunteers searched homes, forests, creeks and paddocks throughout the rural township, but William could not be located.
“The Strike Force Rosann team returned to Kendall with local detectives and specialist forensic officers to have another look at the residence where William was last seen, as well as other areas nearby,” Det Ch Insp Laidlaw said last week.
“Further information has since come to light, as part of our ongoing review of the materials gathered by investigators since the moment William went missing seven years ago.
“As our team continue to conduct inquiries and explore all avenues of investigation, our focus has been identifying if anything has been missed, or if there are any details – no matter how small – that need to be clarified.
“Police remain committed to finding out what happened to William, but our most important job here is to bring him home for both families.”