Desperate search for boy who vanished from family in 'thick bush'

The search for a missing 14-year-old boy with non-verbal autism continues on Tuesday morning on a Victorian mountain.

William Callaghan became separated from his family on Mount Disappointment, 75km north of Melbourne, without food, water or appropriate clothing for a freezing night about 2.20pm (local time) on Monday.

William Callaghan disappeared on Monday afternoon while walking with his family. Source: VicPolice

Temperatures in the area fell to about two degrees during the night, according to the Bureau of Meteorology.

Senior Sergeant Greg Paul called the conditions “life-threatening weather”.

“There's no sugar-coating it. It was a very cold night last night,” he said, noting hypothermia was a serious concern.

He was last seen on the south side of the mountain's summit and could have covered a lot of distance since he became separated from his family.

An air and ground search started on Monday afternoon and extended overnight as emergency services canvassed ‘very thick bush’ looking for William, reports the Herald Sun.

He was described as very energetic and food-focused, leading police to believe there's a chance he may have walked into a house to help himself to food.

Searches for William continued throughout the night. Source: Nine

"He might also try to put himself to bed," a police statement said.

Police have asked local neighbours to check their bedrooms and outhouses, and contact triple-0 if they sight William.

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