Paul Savage (right) leaves the inquest into the disappearance of William Tyrrell at Taree Local Court in August 2019
The man wrongly singled out as a suspect in the William Tyrrell case has broken his silence for the first time since being grilled as an alleged perpetrator.
Paul Savage, whose life was under a cloud for more than two years as he was pursued and accused – but never charged – by former Tyrrell task force boss Gary Jubelin, has called the disgraced detective chief inspector ‘a low man’.
Mr Savage, who lives opposite the Kendall house from which three-year-old William vanished in 2014, told Daily Mail Australia on Tuesday he was recovering after having his life put on hold while being wrongly portrayed as William’s killer.
‘I have not been well, but I do hope this new lot of police can finally solve this case and find William so his spirit can be put to rest,’ Mr Savage, 77, said in Kendall on Tuesday.
‘I know one of the (biological) family and she’s crying, so finding the little fella can only do everyone good.’
NSW Police Commissioner Mick Fuller this morning confirmed police are looking at ‘one person’ in relation to the disappearance of missing toddler William Tyrrell
Police are seen searching the lower level of the house of William’s foster grandmother in Kendall on Tuesday in desperate hope of a breakthrough in the seven year case
Mr Savage came under intense scrutiny by the detectives investigating the three-year-old’s disappearance in 2017.
Jubelin and officers later scoured Mr Savage’s 1.4ha property and placed listening devices in the widower’s Kendall home.
In one of the ‘conversations’ Mr Savage had inside his home with his wife who had by that time died, he said ‘they’re after me love, they’re right after me’.
Jubelin also placed a Spider-Man suit, similar to the one William Tyrrell was wearing when he vanished, along a bush walk frequented by Mr Savage to record his reaction on secret police cameras.
The cameras in fact recorded Mr Savage plucking the hidden devices from the bush.
Former Tyrrell task force head Gary Jubelin (pictured) quit the NSW Police and was later convicted of four counts of illegally recording Mr Savage while investigating the case
Investigators are seen performing forensic exams late into the night on Tuesday (pictured) outside William Tyrrell’s foster grandmother’s home in Kendall
A digger (pictured on Tuesday) was brought in as part of the fresh ‘high intensity’ search of the property
Gary Jubelin quit the NSW Police and was later convicted of four counts of illegally recording Mr Savage while investigating the William Tyrrell case.
Jubelin was fined $10,000, and lost an appeal against his convictions, but stood by his actions.
Mr Savage was still visibly upset when recalling Jubelin’s first accusation; that his late wife Heather, who had died from cancer only nine months earlier, ‘had run over William and then he said I hid the body’.
He was subjected to a four-and-a-half hour police interview in 2017 in which he told Jubelin: ‘I’m not interested in lying. I’d do anything I could to help you find that little bloke.’
Investigators deploy luminol testing under William’s grandmother’s home on Tuesday night (pictured) – which is used to detect blood
Police are seen raking through mud close to the Kendall property on Tuesday night (pictured)
Despite having his reputation dragged through the mud, Mr Savage said: ‘I’m not bitter, I’m annoyed that someone like Jubelin who couldn’t solve it went for me.’
Mr Savage said he was shocked to hear William’s foster parents were now considered ‘persons of interest’ by investigators.
During the inquest into William’s disappearance, the counsel assisting Gerard Craddock, said the someone being a ‘person of interest’ does not necessarily make them a suspect.
Daily Mail Australia does not suggest that either were involved in William’s disappearance.
Mr Savage knew William’s foster mother only slightly, but had known the woman’s late parents and ‘they were well-respected’.
Mr Jubelin placed a Spider-Man suit, similar to the one William Tyrrell was wearing when he vanished, along a bush walk frequented by Mr Savage to record his reaction on secret police cameras
Forensic exams went late into the night on Tuesday (pictured) with police convinced they will finally bring the seven-year-old case to a close
On Tuesday a policeman took a cadaver dog through the house’s lower floor and through the gardens of the Kendall property where William disappeared
He said that the one good moment he remembers from being questioned and cross-examined at inquest hearings in Sydney and Taree was encountering William’s birth father.
‘He just said to me, “thank you for telling the truth”.’
Mr Savage said he will continue to live in the street known as William’s abduction site. ‘Of course, why not?’ he said. ‘It’s one of the most beautiful places in the world.
‘But people here need it to be over and William needs to be put to rest.’
Mr Savage’s comments followed a series of dramatic developments in the search for the missing toddler.
On Tuesday a team of police officers and detectives dug up the garden and cleared under the house where William was last seen alive. One policeman took a cadaver dog through the house’s lower floor.
Officers have since remained tight-lipped about what new information prompted officers to return to Kendall after nearly a decade
Forensic officers are seen in the front garden (pictured) of William Tyrrell’s foster grandmother’s property on Tuesday night
Police officers and detectives dug up the garden and cleared under the house where William was last seen alive in a fresh search of the property
Officers were seen sifting through dirt and rubble on the front lawn using a heavy-duty sifter and a sieve.
NSW Police Commissioner Mick Fuller this morning confirmed police are particularly looking at ‘one person’ in relation to the disappearance of missing toddler William Tyrrell.
‘There is certainly one person in particular that we are looking closely at,’ Commissioner Fuller said on 2GB on Tuesday morning.
He did not say who he was referring to.
‘I certainly don’t want to declare too much’ Mr Fuller said.
Commissioner Fuller also said that the current investigation had ‘inherited what was a bit of a mess’.
William (pictured) has been missing for seven years and no one has ever been charged in relation to his disappearence
NSW Police Force detectives and officers pictured at the property of William Tyrrell’s foster grandmother on Tuesday
Officers have remained tight-lipped about what new information prompted officers to return to Kendall after nearly a decade (pictured, investigators at the property on Tuesday night)
‘They have cleaned up that investigation and they’ve got a clear strategy,’ he said.
Commissioner Fuller said that in the transition of the investigation ‘some time was wasted’, with persons of interest looked at ‘who were clearly not’.
‘A fresh set of eyes under the new team, Chief Inspector Laidlaw, they’ve been meticulously pulling apart this matter and going back to revisit this location with some new technology.’
Officers have remained tight-lipped about what new information prompted officers to return to Kendall after nearly a decade.
Strike force officer-in-charge Detective Chief Inspector David Laidlaw said further information had come to light after a review of materials gathered by investigators over the seven-year period of William’s disappearance.
Chief Inspector David Laidlaw is leading the investigation after former lead detective, Mr Jubelin, was convicted of breaking the law to covertly record four conversations with a suspect.
Police use a sieve to sort through plants and undergrowth around the property where the toddler disappeared
A heavy-duty Kason sifter was also used to help separate dirt and rubble during the new search of the Kendall property
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