Blood and hair found in initial Tyrrell search
Human hair and blood were found in the first searches for missing boy William Tyrrell five years ago, documents released by the coroner today reveal.
The boy in the Spider-Man suit was three years old when he vanished from his foster grandmother's property on Benaroon Drive at Kendall, on the mid north coast, in September 2014.
If alive, William would this month turn eight.
An inquest in March heard from the first people on the scene and William's biological and foster families.
"My immediate thought was someone has taken him," his foster mother tearfully told the inquest.
Four statements to NSW Police - three by Senior Constable Christopher Rowley and one from William's biological father - were released by deputy state coroner Harriet Grahame coroner on Friday.
Sen Const. Rowley recounts how, at the end of Benaroon Drive, a volunteer searcher located suspected human hair in a barbed wire fence two days after William went missing.
"A small strawberry blonde/reddish hair" was photographed and taken into evidence.
The also found a small tuft of red fluff among ferns about 200 metres from where the boy vanished.
It is unclear what significance the discovery of the blood and hair had in the subsequent investigation.
The dense bush offered up more items of interest, including marijuana plants, men's underwear, red fluff and a child's toy.
One volunteer found blood near a road on the afternoon of the fifth day of searching.
Sen Const. Rowley was approached by a woman.
"She told us a male in a white ute had been sitting off the side (of the road) watching the actions of police around the 'blood find' for about 15 minutes," the officer said.
Sen Const. Rowley went with another officer to search a small brick home on the street hours after William vanished. No one answered the door. But the officers saw a wooden box installed over what they assumed was a side window. It was likely blocking out all light. They heard running water and saw a man inside.
The resident allowed them to search the house and they found nothing. Sen Const. Rowley returned with two police detectives to search the home again later that afternoon.
The officer noticed a ladder leading up to a manhole in the laundry ceiling. "I looked inside the roof cavity but did not climb in," he said in his statement, noting it appeared the hatch had not been opened recently.
"The only thing I could see in the roof cavity was a plastic owl often used to scare birds and vermin." This second search was described as a "nil find" too.
The next morning, Sen Const. Rowley returned a third time to search the home with a detective and another officer.
The man's television showed he had selected news coverage of William's disappearance from a menu.
The man told Sen Const. Rowley he was in poor health and had "sleep patterns" left over from his time as a taxi driver.
Another officer Senior Constable Lowrey said he was based at Laurieton Police Station in September 2014, when he was notified that a child was missing from a house in Kendall.
He raced to the scene where he found William's female foster carer at 11:06am, walking on the road.
William's biological father, in his statement released on Friday, assured police he hadn't abducted his son.
"If I was going to take William I would also have taken (his sister)," he said in September 2014.
"I have been praying that the police find him safe."
The inquest before Ms Grahame.is scheduled to resume in August.
The release of the police statements comes the same week as The Sunday Telegrpah revealed the former lead detective on the state's most intriguing missing persons case quit the police force.
Former Detective Chief Inspector Gary Jubelin will quit the force in July after being sidelined from the high profile investigation.
The Daily Telegraph broke the story in March that Insp Jubelin had been interviewed by the Professional Standards Command over a number of allegations about his conduct on Strike Force Rosann, which is looking into Tyrell's 2014.
The allegations included that Insp Jubelin used a mobile phone, without a warrant, to record someone and a number of other allegations relating to staff management.
He has denied any wrongdoing.
He was taken off the investigation just three weeks before the inquest began.