The desperate search for missing toddler William Tyrrell will continue after bones spotted in bushland on the NSW mid-north coast turned out to be animal remains.
It is almost six months since William disappeared, wearing a Spiderman suit, from his grandmother’s front yard on a quiet leafy street in Kendall, near Port Macquarie, last September.
The ongoing investigation into William’s disappearance took a new turn on Monday, with up to 30 police officers combing a heavily forested area at Bonny Hills, south of Port Macquarie.
Police won’t reveal the exact details about the information that led them to the isolated forest, but say it’s not related to a body location.
It has now been over a week since veteran homicide Detective Inspector Gary Jubelin, who recently took the lead on the case, made a renewed public appeal for anyone who was within a 1km radius of Kendall when William went missing last September to come forward.
Homicide Squad commander Detective Superintendent Mick Willing said it was always a possibility a body would be found, but stressed police were only looking for evidence.
“All I want to say is that the information is very general, it is not that specific,” he said.
Officers found bones at the search site on Monday afternoon but it was soon confirmed they belonged to an animal, not a human.
Supt Willing said this week’s search was unlikely to be the last.
There has been no trace of the toddler, who was visiting with his parents from Sydney, since his disappearance.
Police are expected to continue their search for a few days with the help of sniffer dogs.
The fresh search comes after police raided the Bonny Hills home and Laurieton business of local washing machine repairman William “Bill” Spedding in January.
Items, including a mattress and computer, were seized but police stressed Mr Spedding wasn’t the only “line of inquiry” in the investigation.
Spedding was due to fix William’s grandmother’s washing machine around the time the toddler vanished.
But Mr Spedding didn’t go to the house to carry out the repairs on the day William went missing.
Police will return to the search site early on Tuesday.