‘Only a few minutes’: What William Tyrrell’s foster-mother says happened that day

The silence is what made William Tyrrell’s foster-mother realise he was gone.

“I heard [a] roar, it sounded really loud and close like he was just around the corner,” William’s foster mother told police after his baffling disappearance from his foster-grandmother’s property on the mid-north coast in 2014.

The former foster-mother of William Tyrrell leaves her home in Sydney on Thursday.Credit:Kate Geraghty

“After a couple of minutes, I thought, ‘Oh he is quiet’,” she said in a statement.

When she went to check on the little boy, who had gone around the side of the house as he played, he had vanished.

William’s foster-mother’s version of events is under new scrutiny, after she emerged this week as the sole person of interest Strike Force Rosann is investigating.

Police Commissioner Mick Fuller confirmed that there was only one person detectives are looking at.

NSW Police search the gardens below a balcony at the home from which William Tyrrell disappeared.Credit:Wolter Peeters/Supplied

Detectives are investigating whether William fatally fell from the second-storey balcony of the Kendall home, and have spent the week digging up and sifting through the dirt of the garden below.

Police believe that a Mazda 3 seized in southern Sydney that previously belonged to the foster-grandmother may have been used to transport William’s body to nearby bushland.

On Thursday, specialists from the Australian Federal Police were examining a concrete slab laid on the property after William’s disappearance with a ground-penetrating radar that detects discrepancies in a landscape.

Police at the patch of bushland this weekCredit:The Sydney Morning Herald

The woman – who cannot be named due to legal restrictions – also claimed in 2014 that upon realising William wasn’t there, she began to search the street and the neighbours’ yards before calling the police.

“It was only a matter of a few minutes … I don’t understand how he could disappear so quickly.”

The woman also claimed she saw two mysterious cars on Benaroon Drive the morning William disappeared, which struck her as odd on the quiet street.

“I can’t tell you how much I rack my brains over the number plates. I beat myself up,” she told the Coronial Inquest into what happened to William, which began in 2019.

Investigators have cast doubt on the existence of the cars, having found no corroborating evidence.

Giving evidence last year, she described driving home from Kendall without him as a “nightmare”.

“Our world and the contented life we knew collapsed around us,” she told Deputy State Coroner Harriet Grahame.

Former homicide investigator Gary Jubelin, who was sensationally removed from the case then convicted for illegally recording a former person of interest, Paul Savage, said on Thursday he had eliminated the foster parents as suspects through interviews and the use of a listening device.

He described the foster-mother as “a very decent human being”.

NSW Police Minister David Elliott on Thursday said detectives will announce whether the William Tyrrell investigation will be “taken further” at the end of the latest search in Kendall.

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