AUSTRALIA'S leading child protection advocate, Bravehearts Inc. has joined the campaign to find missing boy William Tyrrell as the nation unites to honour his fourth birthday.
The organisation has announced a national awareness campaign to help police in their search for the little boy who disappeared from his grandmother's home in Kendall on September 12, 2014.
Residents across the Hastings are leading the way on Friday by placing red and blue balloons on their letterboxes in recognition of William's birthday and to maintain awareness about the child's disappearance.
In a statement released on Friday morning, William’s father appealed to the community to continue the search for William.
“Please don't give up on our boy. Don't give up on bringing William home. Never say never. Where there is a chance that someone might come forward, there is hope that we all have the chance to bring William home.”
Bravehearts CEO and Founder Hetty Johnston AM said, “William’s disappearance dives into the hearts of entire communities, the happy face of the bright-eyed little boy in his Spiderman costume, innocent and playful one minute; vanishing seemingly without a trace, the next".
“But, children just don’t vanish without a trace,” she said.
“Somebody saw something. Somebody knows something and that somebody can help us find William and bring him home.
“William’s family and friends are heartbroken not knowing what has happened to their beautiful little boy, particularly today, on William’s fourth birthday when there should be joy instead of despair; happiness instead of sorrow; laughter instead of tears.
“Today, there’s no better gift we can give William and his distraught family than to support the efforts of NSW Police by announcing a national awareness campaign ‘Where’s William?’ to help find William and bring him home."
Strike Force Rosann detectives investigating the disappearance of William Tyrrell have renewed appeals for information about his whereabouts.
Strike Force Rosann was established following William’s suspected abduction.
“William did not just vanish into thin air,” Detective Inspector Gary Jubelin, from the State Crime Command’s Homicide Squad, said.
“We, along with his family and friends, pray that he is still alive.
“If he had not been targeted, today William would be with his mum and dad, his sister and other loved ones, blowing out candles on his birthday cake and happily opening presents.
“Instead, there’s a little boy missing, separated from a family whose world has fallen apart.
“Investigators are still keen to hear from anyone who might know what has happened to William.
“Do the right thing, if you know something, come forward.
“We will treat any information provided with confidentiality.”
The strike force welcomed the support of Bravehearts.
“Bravehearts and its founder/CEO, Hetty Johnson, have a great reputation for supporting efforts like ours,” Det. Insp. Jubelin said.
“We welcome their helping hand and look forward to their support in the search for William.”
William's family is fully supporting the launch of the website whereswilliam.org website and the ‘Where's William Tyrrell? Bring Him Home – Official’ Facebook page, in the first phase of a campaign to provide the public with information not previously released and enable people to share it on Facebook.
For the first time more information about William has been released by William’s family including a detailed description of William on whereswilliam.org in the hope that someone will recognise their little boy and contact Crimestoppers.
The Where’s William? Campaign will be a strategic, integrated, multi-channel communication campaign to encourage someone who knows something to come forward with new information that will be treated with in the strictest confidence.
Ms Johnston went on to say, “William’s father told me; today, we should have woken with excitement about William’s birthday feeling joy and sharing morning giggles with our little boy and his sister.
“His mother and I should have been sharing stories of how much William has grown between turning 3 and turning 4 but instead, we are reminded of our loss, reliving the sadness and trauma of his abduction.
“Today, instead of presents, cake and candles we are wondering and strangely hoping that he is being cherished and made to feel like the very special little boy he is.”
Ms Johnson said it is not acceptable that children can "simply disappear".
“Even the smallest piece of information that someone may think is unimportant may be the critical missing piece in the puzzle that can help police find out what happened to William,” she said.
“Bravehearts will always fight for the protection of children no matter what the circumstances. Supporting William’s family in their campaign to find their little boy, is part of this commitment as we work in partnership with William’s family and Police to exhaust all avenues to help bring William home,’ she said.
The Where’s William? campaign’s primary activities will launch on Sunday, August 2 as part of National Missing Person’s Week.
If you have seen William or have any information relating to his disappearance, please contact Crimestoppers on 1800 333 000 or at Crimestoppers online reporting page nsw.crimestoppers.com.au
Share your "Where's William?" photos with us, honouring little Spiderman's fourth birthday, at #bringspideyhome, #williamsday and #givehimback.
Sign up for our newsletter to stay up to date.