Hundreds of officers and dozens of Rural Fire Service volunteers are conducting a fresh search of the area surrounding the boy’s foster grandmother’s house in Kendall on the NSW Mid North Coast.
William disappeared from the home in 2014, when he was three-years-old.
Police said yesterday they were looking for William’s body in the new search.
Today investigators are digging up the garden below a second-floor balcony and sifting through dirt as they search for clues about what happened to the little boy.
Police are investigating whether William might have fallen from the balcony of his foster grandmother’s home.
Detectives are using a chemical that detects traces of blood and officers have also brought in a cadaver dog.
This morning, NSW Police Commissioner Mick Fuller told 2GB: “I’m confident that the team who has the investigation at the moment can solve it.”
When asked whether detectives were focusing on anyone of interest, Mr Fuller added: “My understanding is, from the investigators, is that there is certainly one person in particular that we are looking closely at.”
NSW Police Minister David Elliott also said this morning he had confidence in the investigators.
“Police wouldn’t be deploying these resources, wouldn’t be putting this energy into a search of this magnitude, unless they were confident they would be able to get at least some extra information relating to the disappearance of William,” he told Today.
He said police and Rural Fire Service volunteers were expected to be deployed in the search for two to three weeks.
“We’ve got an excellent Rural Fire Service here in NSW,” Mr Elliott said.
“They are experts in managing the ground, in identifying any soil that may have been moved, in any ground that’s been disturbed, and that’s what they are looking out for.”
Nine Crime Editor Simon Bouda said it was a “very focused search”.
“What we saw yesterday was a lot of preparation on bushland here on the road on Batar Creek Road Kendall on the corner of Cobb And Co Road,” he said.
“This is an area that has now become the centre of attention. There are three locations here that are of significant interest to the police.”
Bouda told Today that among the investigators were specialists including an archeologist and a specialist in human remains.
“The sad part about this is, we’re not looking for a little boy who’s missing, but a little boy who’s died,” he said.
Detective Chief Superintendent Darren Bennett from NSW Police yesterday refused to reveal if there had been a tip-off or a human source was involved in the decision to launch the new operation.
But he underlined the search would focus on new areas, go underground, involve “specialist assistance” and new technologies.
“It’s highly likely that if we found something, it would be a body,” he said.
“We are looking for the remains of William Tyrrell, no doubt about that.”
Chief Superintendent Bennett said the search was being guided by “the holistic nature of a number of pieces of evidence … and we think it provides us with the best chance of finding him”.
William, at the time aged three, disappeared from his foster grandmother’s property on Benaroon Drive in Kendall at about 10.30am on September 12, 2014.
Over the years, police have put pressure on several suspects who have since been ruled out.
This evening it was revealed William’s sister has been removed from their foster parents’ care.