An autistic teenage boy who went missing in dense bushland has been found dead, Victoria Police have confirmed.
William Wall had been missing since before 7am on Tuesday when he left his home in Launching Place, east Melbourne, for his daily walk in the dense bushland of the Yarra Ranges.
Victoria Police confirmed just before 5pm on Wednesday that the 14-year-old’s body was found in the Yarra Junction, not far from where he disappeared.
His death is not being treated as suspicious. A report is being prepared for the coroner.
Air and ground crews including about 100 personnel from Victoria Police and the State Emergency Service were involved in the search for the teen.
The teenager told his family he would be gone for 15 minutes but didn't return.
William, who had high-functioning autism, left home without his mobile phone.
‘Bulls***’: Controversial decision angers volunteers
Earlier on Wednesday, volunteers offering to help in the search for William were turned away by Victoria Police saying they had enough resources already involved.
The group of about 50 locals gathered at the Warburton police station, but were told by police to go home and instead help officers by spreading word on social media.
The meeting between community members wanting to lend a helping hand and police was tense, according to The Herald Sun.
One man who told the publication the decision was “bulls***” said a larger volunteer crowd leads to a better chance of finding William.
Victoria Police told Yahoo News Australia they turned away the help because they have plenty of resources. It was also reported that the wet weather was making conditions dangerous.
SES crews were unable to find the 14-year-old overnight as the weather deteriorated and temperatures dropped to 7 degrees.
Missing teen’s dad praises police
William’s dad Shane Wall praised the police and SES crews during an interview with ABC on Wednesday morning.
He said all of the support was “fantastic”, although he had hoped to never be in such a situation.
“Actual support from local people, the Facebook community and the noticeboards and that, fantastic.
Mr Wall said it is not unusual for William to go exercise for 15 minutes to an hour, but it is “really out of the ordinary” for him to wander off.
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