Dressed in a Spider-Man costume, a little boy lets out a ‘roar’ as he draws with crayons on his foster grandmother’s veranda.
This is the last known photo of William Tyrrell, who was just three years old when he vanished while playing a game of hide-and-seek.
The toddler was in good spirits as he played with his big sister in his gran’s front and back yard on the morning of September 12, 2014.
He would run around the back of the house in New South Wales, Australia, and ‘hide’, before reappearing with a cheeky smile.
At some point after the game started, his foster mum, who had also been outside, is said to have gone inside to make a cup of tea.
The young children continued playing. But when William went down the side of the property again, he failed to reemerge.
He had seemingly vanished into thin air.
More than four years on, the youngster hasn’t been seen since.
Although his disappearance from the scene in Benaroon Drive, Kendall, remains a mystery, it is believed he was abducted.
"Somebody somehow managed to get him and disappeared down the road," neighbour Paul Savage, 74, told news.com.au.
This week, it emerged that an inquest into William’s disappearance will begin next March in the Sydney suburb of Lidcombe.
It will take place at the Forensic Medicine and Coroners Court Complex, according to the NSW Justice Twitter account.
The little boy had arrived at his gran’s home early, along with his sister, the night before his disappearance as a surprise for her.
The following morning, the two siblings were seen riding their bicycles in the driveway, with a neighbour hearing them playing.
At about 9.15am, William’s foster dad is said to have left the two-storey, three-bedroom house to find better phone signal.
Half an hour later, the boy’s mum took three photos of her foster son, showing him drawing on the veranda in his Spider-Man outfit.
These were to be the last known images of William. It was not long after that he vanished during the hide-and-seek game.
His mum, realising he was missing, asked his sister and gran if they knew where he was, before desperately seeking help nearby.
"You could tell she was very distressed when she first came to us,” neighbour Anne-Maree Sharpley told The Sunday Telegraph.
“I just remember saying ‘Don’t worry, we’ll find him,’ and that has stuck with me because obviously they didn’t find him."
She added that she waited with the mum as she called police.
Following William’s disappearance, a large-scale search was launched and extensive investigations were carried out.
Hundreds of police officers, volunteers and a helicopter all joined in the search, which saw hundreds of tips sent in to authorities.
Divers also searched nearby waterways.
But there was no sight of the missing youngster.
William’s biological parents were interviewed but dismissed as possible abduction suspects, according to news.com.au.
Police also ruled out his foster parents.
His biological mum has since spoken out, urging whoever took him: "Just let him come home. Please. It’s not fair. This isn’t fair."
Meanwhile, William’s foster mum told Channel Seven earlier this year: "We need to know where he is, and we need to know what happened to him, ’cause we can’t live forever like this."
Two years after William vanished, the state’s government offered a $1million reward for information leading to the child’s recovery.
However, William has yet to be found. Investigators have acknowledged the "continued strength and courage" of his families.
They have been continuing to explore lines of inquiry in a bid to find out what happened to the youngster, Daily Mail Australia reports.
According to Mr Savage, the little boy "wouldn’t go wandering".
“Very few people around here knew him and his sister, not many of us, just two little kids visiting," he said. “They wouldn’t go wandering. They would stay close to their grandmother."
A Facebook page, called ‘Where’s William Tyrrell? Bring Him Home – Official’, has been set up in a bid to find the youngster.
A post in September read: "Today marks 4 tragic years since we last saw little William. 4 years of heartache and 4 years of endless tears for everyone who held him dear – not knowing where he is or what has happened to him. Today also marks the gift of unending love, hope and support from across Australia and around the globe."
The inquest is expected to begin on March 25, 2019.
Top news stories from Mirror Online
Source: Read Full Article