Tyrrell’s foster nan singled out neighbour

Two days after toddler William Tyrrell went missing from his foster grandma's home on NSW's mid north coast, the then 81-year-old delivered a damning witness statement to police, pointing the finger at her neighbour who kept odd hours and lived alone.

William had been playing in the yard of his foster grandma's home in Kendall on September 11, 2014 when he disappeared.

On September 13 of that year, the foster grandma told police one of her neighbours might have had something to do with his disappearance due to his peculiar schedule and living arrangement.

"I can't think of anyone who would want to harm William. I was asked this question initially by Wendy Hudson (a local police officer) and I suggested (the neighbour) across the road … Wendy assures me that she has checked him out thoroughly," the foster grandma's statement, released by the NSW Coroners Court today, reads.

William's family "seemed in good health and everyone was happy" when they arrived at the then 81-year-old's home, the grandma told police.

The next morning, the family woke up and William's foster father left to visit a nearby town while the three-year-old, his sister and foster mum stayed at home with the grandma.

William was dressed in his beloved but now infamous Spider-Man costume.

"He was full of beans," the foster grandma told police a few days later, according to her statement.

"He was jumping out of his skin with energy."

 

William Tyrrell has been missing since September 2014. Picture: NSW Police
William Tyrrell has been missing since September 2014. Picture: NSW Police

 

After playing on the rear veranda and pretending to be a tiger, William ran around the right side of the house towards the front of the property.

"That's the last time I saw William," she told police.

The now 85-year-old grandma describes the harrowing first moments of the search in which her daughter, William's foster mum, was calling out for the young boy.

Police arrived to search the house and surrounding area, and the scene descended into "pandemonium", the foster grandma stated at the time.

The foster grandma, in the same police statement, said she was also concerned William might have made his way to nearby Batar Creek Road, which had "lots of traffic moving back and forth".

 

Police search for William Tyrrell in bushland at Batar Creek. Picture: Peter Lorimer
Police search for William Tyrrell in bushland at Batar Creek. Picture: Peter Lorimer

 

Deputy State Coroner Harriet Grahame is conducting an inquest into William's disappearance.

The first hearing in March hinted evidence would likely show William did not wander into the rugged bushland around the Benaroon Drive home and was possibly abducted.

William's abduction sparked Australia's greatest manhunt and is an ongoing investigation by the NSW Homicide Squad's Strike Force Rosann.

Despite a $1 million reward offered and police looking at more than 600 persons of interest, detectives still don't know what happened to the boy.

The inquest is scheduled to resume on August 5.

- with AAP