William Tyrrell’s foster family explain why they have never revealed their identity

Still missing: William Tyrrell vanished from his foster grandmother’s home five years ago


September 12 – Dressed in a Spider-Man outfit, three-year-old William Tyrrell goes missing from the garden while visiting members of his foster family on the NSW north coast. 

September 21 – Police stop searching for the missing boy after scouring surrounding bushland and neighbouring houses. 


January 20 – Police search the home and business of washing machine repairman Bill Spedding, who had been due to carry out repairs at the house at the time the three-year-old went missing.

Detectives take items for testing including a mattress, computer and vehicles. They drain his septic tank. 

January 23 – The washing machine repairman publicly denies any involvement in William’s disappearance and says he and his wife are on the verge of a breakdown due to the public attention.

February 19 – Homicide detectives take over the case and say it’s likely William was abducted. 

March 2 – Police fruitlessly search an area of bushland near Bonny Hills for three days after a tip-off. 

April 17 – William’s foster parents speak publicly for the first time in an emotional video released through police which does not identify them. 

April 17 – Police say the boy may have been a victim of a paedophile ring. 

September 6 – The Nine Network’s 60 Minutes reveal two suspicious cars were parked on the street the morning William went missing. 

September 12 – ‘Where’s William’ week is launched one year after he disappeared. 


September 12 – A $1million reward is offered for information leading to William’s return. 


August 24 – William’s foster child status is revealed after a landmark court ruling.


June 12 – NSW Police announce the start of a four-week forensic search of bushland conducted by Strike Force Rosann.

June 14 – William’s grandmother scolds police who have failed to find the young boy after four years, and claims their latest search is ‘just for show’.

June 26 – The forensic search continues on what would have been William’s seventh birthday.

June 27 – Strike Force Rosann announces it will move the search to an 800sqm block of bushland just 4km from where William was last seen alive.

June 5 – The latest search ends with Detective Chief Inspector Gary Jubelin saying the case could soon go to a coroner. 

August – Investigation leader Detective Chief Inspector Gary Jubelin and a sergeant get into a disagreement during a briefing.

September 13 – Police reveal they found a burned out car wreck belonging to a former person of interest.

December 19 – Coroners say William could still be alive and the inquest will determine if he died or not.


February – DCI Jubelin is removed from the investigation amid a misconduct probe.

March 25 – The inquest into William Tyrrell’s disappearance begins, with William’s biological and foster parents appearing over the course of a week. 

The inquest’s first batch of hearings focused on William’s family situation and the events leading up to his disappearance. 

Both his foster and biological parents were quizzed, as were neighbours who helped in the search.   

It was disclosed that William’s biological parents absconded with him for six weeks in 2012, following a children’s court order.

William’s biological father slammed authorities for letting them down. 

‘Authorities f***ed up … The minister had a duty of care to keep William safe until he was 18. That was not the case at all.’

May: DCI Jubelin quits the Police Force.

June: Four charges of breaching the Surveillance Devices Act are laid against DCI Jubelin. He denies any wrongdoing whatsover

August: The second tranche of inquest hearings began on Wednesday August 7

Inquest hears Bill Spedding, a NSW mid-north coast repairman and one-time person of interest in the disappearance of William Tyrrell, met his wife for coffee about 9.30am in Laurieton, a 15-minute drive from Kendall, on the day William went missing.

They then attended a school assembly across the road to see a child in their care receive an award.

The inquest heard how a man who claims he saw William Tyrrell unrestrained in the back of a speeding car on the day the child went missing was waiting for police to interview him to tell them what he saw.

He told the inquest he contacted police but did not hear back about an interview.

It took it took almost 1000 days before he was able to reveal what he saw to police. 

The coroner orders an urgent probe into the final image that was taken on the day William vanished as metadata suggests the picture may have been taken 118 minutes earlier than originally thought.

The image has a ‘created time’ of 7.39am and a ‘corrected time’ of 9.37am, a new document from the 2000-page evidence brief. 

The coronial inquest has been delayed for another eight months with the next round of hearings happening in March 2020. 

November 11: The deputy state coroner releases footage of William Tyrrell and family at Heatherbrae McDonalds, on September 11, 2014

Feb – March 2020: Gary Jubelin defends four charges of illegally recording person of interest Paul Savage in court hearing

February 21: Daily Mail Australia reveals Frank Abbott was arrested in custody for the purposes of a police interview about William’s disappearance 

March 2020: The coronial inquest into William’s disappearance resumes but stops with two days to go due to the coronavirus outbreak

April 6, 2020: Magistrate Ross Hudson delivers his verdict in Gary Jubelin case

April 8, 2020: Jubelin is convicted of all four charges and fined $10,000. Ex-cop says he will appeal 

June 22, 2020: Police and SES launch new search for William Tyrrell near Herons Creek, where Abbott once lived

June 26, 2021: Police acknowledge William Tyrrell’s 10th birthday

November 15, 2021: Detectives return to Kendall after receiving new information and admit they are searching for a body. His foster parents are reported to be persons of interest in the case 

December 15, 2021: Police reveal a bone fragment of unknown origin has been found in the search ahead, and are planning to wrap up the search by the end of the week

June, 2022 – William Tyrrell’s foster parents face court over allegedly hitting a 10-year-old girl with a wooden spoon and grabbing her

August 22, 2022 –  The foster parents are charged for allegedly getting someone to attend an auction and make fraudulent dummy bids on a home

October 20, 2022: The foster parents plead not guilty to dishonestly obtaining financial advantage by deception in relation to the alleged fraudulent dummy bids

November 4, 2022 – William Tyrrell’s foster mum found not guilty of lying to the NSW Crime Commission about allegedly hitting the girl with the wooden spoon

December 1, 2022 – Bill Spedding to receive $1.48 million in compensation plus interest after police falsely charged him with historical child sex allegations during their search for William Tyrrell

June 27, 2023: Detectives believe there is enough evidence to potentially charge William Tyrrell’s foster mother over the boy’s disappearance in 2014

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk