Police have bagged another potential key piece of evidence as their mammoth search into William Tyrrell’s disappearance takes a different turn.
NSW Police have made another important discovery today in their mammoth search for William Tyrrell, despite wild storms hampering their efforts.
A fresh team of police officers arrived at the NSW mid-north coast town of Kendall today, a week after dozens of officers arrived in the town to start digging near the home of William’s former foster grandmother.
NSW Police’s Strikeforce Rosann is hoping to find answers, seven years after William disappeared from his foster family’s home in 2014.
The new piece of fabric was found around 900m from the home of William’s foster grandmother, after police moved their search area.
The small piece of fabric, of unknown colour, was bagged by police.
It comes as officers revealed the enormous scale of the challenge that lays ahead of them as the renewed search continued into its seventh day.
They vowed to continue their search for William’s remains, even though wild weather has already led to a drenching over the NSW mid north coast.
Officers, aided by scientific experts, are methodically scouring through thick bushland near the former home of William’s foster grandmother.
Initially it was anticipated that the search could be over after three weeks, but a spokesman for the force told news.com.au that it could now stretch out for months.
Tracker’s warning as Kendall lashed by storms
As the first week of the renewed search for William Tyrrell’s remains concludes, investigators will be lashed by another week of rain and storms.
This was after a brief thunderstorm swept through the search area yesterday afternoon. In the past 24 hours to Sunday, November 21, the area recorded around 54mm of rain, with even more wet weather expected to hit the Kendall area on NSW’s mid-north coast.
Currently, the Bureau of Meteorology is forecasting high to very high chances of rain and thunderstorms until Saturday, November 27.
At 10.51am on Sunday, a severe weather warning was also issued for the area, alerting residents to expect heavy rainfall, potential minor flooding and a risk of damaging wind gusts on Sunday night.
However, survivalist expert and bush tracker Jake Cassar said the wet weather could be both a blessing or a curse.
The 45-year-old was part of the original search for William in 2014 and was also involved in the rescue of three-year-old Anthony “AJ” Elfalak in September this year.
Mr Cassar told news.com.au that while the “rain can move the soils and shift things”, it could also help uncover potential evidence buried in the bushland, where police are searching.
Under advice from forensic experts, archaeologists and forensic anthropologists, authorities have been advised to dig to a depth roughly over 15cm, as anything beyond that is “too old”, a police spokesman said.
“If it’s really heavy rain it could shift the soils which can be advantageous in the way of uncovering certain things,” added Mr Cassar.
In a worst-case scenario, however, Mr Cassar feared it could set the search back to “square one”.
“When you’ve got this kind of rain coming down, it could fill in some of the areas that they’ve been working on,” he continued.
“It could also cover things up and put a thick layer of soil or mud over the top of areas.”
Despite this, he said authorities would be experienced in dealing with rain during mass excavations, like the one NSW Police are currently undertaking.
“That wouldn’t be the first time they’ve encountered rain when it comes to a dig,” said Mr Cassar.
“They’re out and about doing this kind of thing all the time.”
Search for William returns to Kendall
Police have vowed to continue searching, despite the predicted downpour headed for the mid-north coast.
After announcing a renewed search effort for William’s remains, police have once again gathered in Kendall, where the then three-year-old was last seen on September 12, 2014.
Shortly before William disappeared, he was playing with his sister at the home of his foster grandmother, with authorities now focusing on the dense bushland off Batar Creek Rd under a kilometre away.
Officers and scientific experts are manually sifting through the topsoil by hand, scouring the area for potential evidence.
Tasked with covering an area of around 1.5 square kilometres, a spokesman for the force told news.com.au on Saturday that the investigation could take months, instead of the three weeks initially predicted.
He estimated police had yet to scour 10 per cent of the total area, however it is understood that the ground around the creek would be one of the search’s more difficult sections, suggesting the surrounding regions will be easier to clear.
To date, investigators have found multiple pieces of fabric near the creek, with the samples taken to Lidcombe for testing.