New development in William Tyrrell mystery
FOUR years after the disappearance of William Tyrrell, police have referred his presumed abduction to the State Coroner.
The toddler's disappearance - a baffling mystery that has captured Australia's attention - NSW Police are no closer to finding answers and announced overnight that they will hand the investigation to Deputy State Coroner Harriet Grahame. An inquest into the case has been proposed for next year.
"Investigators from the Homicide Squad's Strike Force Rosann would like to acknowledge the continued strength and courage of William Tyrrell's families today," the statement reads.
"Over the past year, investigators have continued to explore lines of inquiry in an effort to find out what happened to William, including a large-scale forensic search."
William's families have been informed of the development.
William, then three, vanished from his grandmother's home in Kendall on the state's mid-north coast on September 12, 2014. He has not been seen since.
It was later revealed that he had been living in care since being taken from his biological parents, Karlie Tyrrell and Brendan Collins.
The little boy's suspected abduction sparked one of the nation's largest manhunts, but no trace of William has ever been found.
Police returned to the site of his disappearance in June in a last-ditch attempt to find clues in one of Australia's greatest missing child mysteries. A four-week "forensic search" of bushland at Kendall ended with no leads.
Last year, the NSW Supreme Court allowed the publication of the identity of William's birth parents, but concluded that it was a "tragic probability" the boy was already dead.
Both his biological and foster families have been ruled out as suspects in his disappearance.
"Her Honour has requested a brief of evidence, which will be provided by the year's end," the statement read.
"The brief will cover various aspects of the investigation, as determined by the Coroner.
"The inquest will be an opportunity to test information and evidence gathered by Strike Force Rosann and further the investigation.
"This is another step in ensuring answers are provided to William's loved ones."
In 2016, the state government offered $1 million in reward money for information on William's whereabouts - the largest reward in the state's history at the time it was announced.
William, who was wearing his Spider-man costume at the time of his disappearance, would have turned seven in June.