Crime

William Tyrell mystery: ‘Cops know who took him’

Crime expert Dr. Xanthe Mallett says closure for William’s loved ones could be coming.
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The predator that abducted toddler William Tyrrell is known to police – they just don’t have the evidence to prove it, explains true-crime expert, Dr Xanthé Mallett.

It’s been seven years since the adorable 3-year-old boy in the Spider-Man suit went missing from his foster grandmother’s backyard in Kendall, northern NSW.

WATCH: William Tyrrell’s birth mother breaks her silence on Sunday Night

Despite one of the biggest manhunts in Australia’s history, a record $1 million reward for information and an 18-month coronial inquest, the case still remains a mystery. After revisiting William’s grandmother’s home as part of a Sky News true-crime investigation, forensic anthropologist and criminologist Dr Mallett says the person who took William has already been identified.

“It’s very quiet, so nobody would have been there randomly walking around,” Dr Mallett tells New Idea of the neighbourhood. “For me, it very much had a sense of somebody was there and they took the opportunity to take William when he was very vulnerable. I’m firmly of the belief that the name of the person who took William is in those police files, but proving it is the hard part.”

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It’s been seven years since William Tyrrell went missing from his foster grandmother’s backyard. (Credit: AAP)

William, a foster child, was playing “tigers” with his older sister, then 4, on September 12, 2014, when he ran around the side of the house just before 10.30am. He hasn’t been seen since. Tragically, his grandmother, who can’t be named for legal reasons, died in March without ever knowing what happened to her beloved William.

Police initially treated the disappearance as a missing person’s case, but it quickly became a homicide investigation. More than 600 persons of interest have been identified, and findings from the coronial inquest that concluded in October are expected to be handed down in the coming months.

“There are some persons of interest that stood out to me as being very strong and I’d like to have seen the inquest probe more deeply into these people,” says Dr Mallett. “Standing outside the house, it feels so safe and he [William] should have been safe there. There were people around that day on the street that I’d like to see questioned further.”

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In William Tyrrell: Little Boy Lost, Sky News anchor Peter Stefanovic spoke candidly with those at the heart of the case of the missing toddler. (Credit: Sky News)

The disappearance has crushed the worlds of William’s two families, his biological and foster carers – who took him in when he was 9 months old.

In her first television interview since the inquest, William’s biological mother – featured in the documentary, William Tyrrell: Little Boy Lost, which aired on Sky News on Sunday – shared the circumstances that led to William being in foster care and her experience on the devastating day that her son went missing.

“I never believed the families were involved, as it just didn’t make any sense,” explains Dr Mallett. “My heart breaks for both families because when there’s no outcome like this, not knowing every day makes it as raw to them as it was the day it happened.”

WATCH: Person of interest in William Tyrrell case screams at TV reporter (Story continues after video)

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Former homicide detective Gary Jubelin, who led the William Tyrrell investigation for four years before he was convicted of illegally recording conversations with a potential suspect, also revisited the early steps of the investigation with Sky News anchor, Peter Stefanovic. Dr Mallett says she is hopeful bringing the case back into the spotlight will lead to much-needed closure for William’s family.

“To me, it’s going to take somebody either finding some evidence or somebody coming forward and claiming that significant reward,” she says. “I find it frustrating and I’m sure the task force does, too – that the name is there, it’s just proving it!”

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