It has been revealed the body of missing autistic teen William Wall was found just over one kilometre away from his home after news of his death rocked his local community.
The 14-year-old went for an early morning run from his Launching Place home on Tuesday, 50km east of Melbourne’s CBD, but never returned.
Following extensive searches of rugged bushland, his body was found near his family home at the end of a residential street in Yarra Junction just hours after his father Shane made an emotional plea for William’s safe return on Wednesday afternoon.
Victoria Police say the death is not suspicious.
Mr Wall said his son leaving early morning was a routine outing for someone he described as a “fitness fanatic”.
“It’s absolutely the first time he’s got lost. He’s a kid that sticks to himself, does all his school work, so this is really out of the ordinary,” Mr Wall said on Wednesday.
William regularly headed outdoors and could easily run for 20km, his dad said. In his last exchange with family, he told them he would only be 15 minutes.
The teenager did not take his mobile phone.
His family were pictured breaking down at the scene. Members of the search party comforted each other, while some sat dejected on the side of the road in what were sombre and emotional scenes.
Searches for William prompted controversy, including criticism from William’s older brothers, after police had turned away groups of volunteers wishing to join the search.
Authorities denied coronavirus restrictions ordering people to remain within 5km from their home were behind the decision to decline offers of help from volunteers.
His death has been referred to the coroner.
Do you have a story tip? Email: email@example.com.