An inquest into William Tyrrell’s disappearance and suspected death in 2014 is likely to find it “was the direct result of human intervention”, a NSW coroner has been told.
“If the evidence establishes that William was abducted, that conclusion is chilling because it means a person snatched a three-year-old from the safety of a quiet village backyard,” counsel assisting the coroner, Gerard Craddock SC, said in his opening address on Monday.
“That person, with whatever his or her proclivities and interests, remains in our community.”
In a police video played to the inquest, from a backyard on NSW’s mid north coast, William’s foster father told an officer: “He never wanders. He’s not a wanderer.”
“I was thinking so many things all at once. I need to cover as much ground as I possibly can in the shortest amount of time,” he said.
In a triple-zero call made on September 12 and also played to the inquest, William’s foster mother is heard telling the operator: “We heard him roaring around the garden and then I thought, oh I haven’t heard him, I better go check on him, and couldn’t find him”.
The three-year-old boy was wearing a red Spiderman suit and had been roaring like a “daddy tiger” that morning.
The woman had been searching the neighbouring properties and green bushland for any sign of red, and estimated William had disappeared about 10.30am.
She also told the operator she hadn’t seen anyone suspicious in the area.
Mr Craddock said William’s foster grandmother – whose house the family were visiting – had noticed “it had become quiet, too quiet”.
“There had been one load roar and then nothing,” Mr Craddock said.
The first week of hearings will explore William’s foster and biological families, when he disappeared and early stages of the investigation including the action taken shortly after he went missing.
“I expect the evidence may show that it was likely that he was taken,” Mr Craddock said.
“That is, that William’s disappearance was the direct result of human intervention.”
He said there is “no doubt” both of William’s biological parents were in Sydney on the day the young boy disappeared.
“Investigators haven’t positively drawn the conclusion that no relative or associate was involved in William’s disappearance,” he said.
Further hearings will begin in August when persons of interest will be called to give evidence.
The inquest continues before Deputy State Coroner Harriet Grahame.
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