Setback for Tyrrell investigators as heavy rain inundates key search site


Setback for Tyrrell investigators as heavy rain inundates key creek search site – frustrating police efforts to find new clues to boy’s disappearance










Torrential rain overnight has flooded the William Tyrrell dig site, leaving the creek bed which was carefully scraped by police last week submerged in water and setting back the search for the boy.

Area 1 of the one-square-kilometre of bushland, which is regarded by police as a potential covert burial site for the remains of the missing three-year-old, is now a quagmire pooled with water.

Heavy overnight rains have refilled the creek bed which was drained to search for new clues in the William Tyrrell investigation.

Heavy overnight rains have refilled the creek bed which was drained to search for new clues in the William Tyrrell investigation.

However, after a meeting with Strike Force Rosann’s onsite forensic scientists, police decided to proceed with day seven of the dig during a break in showers on Sunday morning.

A new team of specialist police rolled into the search site at Kendall on Sunday, relieving the previous crew as the dig enters its second week.

Just before midday on Sunday, the replacement crew of Public Order and Riot Squad and Operational Support Group police arrived en masse in a convoy of vehicles at the now muddied site.

Up to 30 officers have replaced the team which has worked doggedly for a week at the NSW Mid North Coast site which is the subject of a renewed and intensive search for the missing toddler.   

The creek bed had been drained on Thursday to enable a search for fresh forensic evidence that could solve the enduring mystery of William's disappearance.

The creek bed had been drained on Thursday to enable a search for fresh forensic evidence that could solve the enduring mystery of William’s disappearance.

Blue police-issue gazebos were placed over important areas of the dig on Saturday night due to the threat of bad weather, but at least one was blown away by strong winds overnight and had to be removed on Sunday morning.

The Tyrrell taskforce scientists looked sombre as they surveyed the rain damage at the site, and even more downpours are forecast throughout Sunday.

Rather than uncover the partially dug areas – where police found and bagged evidence in the dig’s first week – investigators left in place the large sheets of black plastic protecting the area.

Instead, search efforts on Sunday morning were reduced to mainly clearing vegetation while they wait for conditions to improve when the scraping of sediment layers can resume. 

Police continued their search on the sodden ground on Sunday, with a new team of officers arriving during the day to relieve those at the scene.

Police continued their search on the sodden ground on Sunday, with a new team of officers arriving during the day to relieve those at the scene.

Hydrologist Professor Jon Olley had painstakingly emptied the creek with an electric pump overnight on Thursday, and forensic officers were working in the drained creek bed on Saturday.

The stagnant pool where graves archaeologist Dr Tony Lowe had inspected items of fabric on Friday which had been washed up on the banks, is now a free flowing stream.

Around 9am, a squad of officers in blue coveralls marched in single file down to an area of unsearched bush to start clearing fallen bark and tree branches from the sodden ground.

Police working on fresh leads began a new search of bushland close to the house from which William Tyrrell, 4, disappeared back in 2014.

Police working on fresh leads began a new search of bushland close to the house from which William Tyrrell, 4, disappeared back in 2014.

Professor Olley has previously stated that William’s remains – either the boy’s bones or a scrap of his clothing – could have washed into a nearby tributary on private land. 

Frustratingly for investigators, the search at Area 1 and the tracts of land alongside Batar Creek Road which comprise the 1km square dig area are likely to be interrupted by more bad weather for some time. 

Rain is expected at Kendall and surrounding northern New South Wales for most of the week. 

Police working on fresh leads began a new search of bushland close to the house from which William Tyrrell, 4, disappeared back in 2014.

As part of the renewed search for William’s remains – on the presumption he was dead – the boy’s foster mother was named as a person of interest in the investigation.

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Written by bourbiza

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