A $1 million incentive to flush out information leading to the recovery of missing child William Tyrrell has provided new momentum to move the two-year investigation forward.
The reward, the largest of its kind ever offered by the NSW Government, was announced last month as a part of Strike Force Rosann’s strategy to find the crucial piece of information necessary to expose the truth.
Detective Chief Inspector Gary Jubelin said the reward does not represent a loss of hope, but a proactive tool combined with both covert and overt operations to find out what happened to William when he disappeared from his grandmother’s home in Kendall on September 12, 2014.
“The Homicide Squad’s Strike Force Rosann team has once again been pleased by the response from the community following the announcement of a $1 million reward for information,” Det Chf Insp Jubelin said.
“We are continuing to work our way through the new information and prioritise follow-up action with other investigative activities.
“For operational reasons, it’s not appropriate to discuss lines of inquiry or persons of interest, but as the Port Macquarie community is aware, there are still Strike Force Rosann investigators based in the local area.
“While the reward is an asset to the investigation and we are hopeful it will motivate someone to come forward; we certainly aren’t relying on it to bring William Tyrrell home.
“The investigation is very much active and the team is committed to finding William, and we want to reassure the community that we will not give up until he is recovered.”
The magnitude of the investigation has included 2800 reports to Crimestoppers, 196 reports directly to Strike Force Rosann, and 1078 sightings of William. The Strike Force has collected 11,000 pieces of information and 628 exhibits, canvassed 450 addresses and interviewed 690 persons of interest.
The Strike Force, led by the State Crime Command’s Homicide Squad, has been boosted by a secondary contingent - Strike Force Rosann 2 - drawing in recruitments from the Armed Hold up Squad, Sex Crimes and Fraud Squad and officers from local area commands across the state.
Det Chf Insp Jubelin responded to media reports this week that the Tyrrell case had been forwarded to NSW Coroner Michael Barnes who assisted with the Daniel Morcombe murder case.
He clarified while the case was raised with the NSW Coroner more than 12 months ago, it is still very much an active investigation.
No steps have been taken to open a coronial inquest at this stage.
The investigation is very much active and the team is committed to finding William, and we want to reassure the community that we will not give up until he is recovered.Detective Chief Inspector Gary Jubelin
“Any referral of William Tyrrell’s disappearance to the NSW State Coroner will be in line with standard protocol for matters of this kind,” Det Chf Insp Jubelin said.
“Strike Force Rosann investigators maintain the position that until we have conclusive evidence that William is deceased, we will continue our investigations on the basis he could still be alive.
“The recent announcement of a $1 million reward for the recovery of William provides an opportunity for us to appeal directly to those who know something but have not previously been inclined to assist.”
Anyone with information should call Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or use the Crime Stoppers online reporting page nsw.crimestoppers.com.au.