“Now is the time for you to come forward,” head of the investigation Det. Chief Insp. Gary Jubelin said in a statement to WHO. “Now—before we come for you.” Revealing the new search was not the result of one specific tip-off—officials have received more than 15,000 pieces of information—Jubelin tells WHO the young boy’s disappearance without trace “is beyond anyone’s belief.” While 50 specialist police officers comb bushland within a 3km radius of the house where William was last seen, Jubelin has confirmed the new investigation is part of preparations for a possible court hearing into the boy’s disappearance.
“We need to able to satisfy a court—whether that be coronial or criminal—that William’s disappearance was not through misadventure,” he says. The officer hopes the $1 million reward offered by the NSW government will provide motivation for someone who knows what happened to William to come forward.
“Someone knows what happened; they might not be the one who took him, but know who did, and they’re potentially concealing a criminal offence.”
In the meantime, renewed efforts to find evidence in William’s 2014 disappearance—he was playing with his sister in his grandmother’s front
yard, just metres from the house where she and his foster mother were making a cup of tea when he vanished—have prompted his biological grandmother Natalie Collins to call for a halt to the search. “This is just opening old wounds for us ... they’re never going to find William,” she told News Corp. “You’re wasting your time—he’s dead.”
For more see this week's issue of WHO.