Monday, March 06, 2017

Mystery Monday: William Tyrell

It's Monday, which means it's time for another...



For today's mystery, we take you across the globe to Kendall, New South Wales, Australia to look at the disappearance of this three-year-old boy:


William was visiting his grandmother's house on September 12, 2014 with his mom, dad, and five-year-old sister. This photo was snapped just before William's disappearance, while he and his sister were coloring.



Soon after, the kids decided to play outside. Their mom and grandmother watched from the back porch. At some point, the mom decided to go in to make a cup of tea.


The house where William Tyrell was last seen

When the mom came out, William was gone. He ran from the back yard to the front, roaring like a tiger. When he got to the front yard, he went silent. When they went to the front yard to look for him, he was gone.


An extensive search was conducted but after two years, no sign of what happened to William Tyrell has been found. The police recently released information on some cars seen near the house. His mother saw two cars parked across the street that morning, both older models. One was a white station wagon and the other was a dark gray sedan--both were parked across the street with the driver's windows down, and both were unoccupied.


Artist's rendering of the cars across the street

Approximately an hour and a half before his disappearance, a green or gray sedan was seen slowly driving past the house as William and his sister rode their bikes in the driveway. The car did a U-turn in a neighbor's driveway and left.



At 10:30, around the time of his disappearance, a four-wheel drive was seen leaving his street. A few minutes later, witnesses saw it speeding down a nearby street.



An odd factoid about this case: the parents have insisted on remaining anonymous. They say it's to protect his siblings, who they don't want to become known as being related to the missing child. It's an odd choice, though, and it's piqued the public's curiosity. Were their children all adopted and revealing their identity might bring that to light? Are they public figures? This is all the public has seen of them:


Image source: The Daily Telegraph

Hundreds of people have been questioned in the case, including known pedophiles and a friend of William's grandmother. The disappearance may never be solved, but it is one of the most high-profile cases in Australia's history.



What do you think happened to William Tyrell?

My next Piper Morgan book, Piper Morgan Makes a Splash, comes out April 4, 2017. Sign up if you'd like to help out by posting on your blog about it!


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38 comments:

  1. So Tyrell is his middle name not his last name? How does a family remain anonymous? Anyone who knew them would know William and know he was missing. That's the weirdest part...

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    1. Good point! That can't be his real last name unless it's really common over there. You know locally (at least) people know who his parents are...I don't get how they've avoided their photo showing up somewhere. It just says, over and over, that William has a "complicated family history." That makes me feel like he was adopted?

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  2. That is weird that the parents would want to stay anonymous. You would think a parent would be doing any and everything they could to find their child. Wonder if any other children have gone missing in that area or could it be related to William possible being adopted and someone sought him out.

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    1. Looks like it. I Googled and this was the first thing I found: "Every three days, a child in New South Wales is either abducted or kidnapped." It's disturbing to me how often children are abducted in America, as well. I think often it's a family member? With 800,000 a year in America, you'd think we'd be hearing about at least one on the news every single day.

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  3. I find it odd the parents would keep this information private. I'd think having a full name would help the investigation. Very odd.

    I signed up to blog about your next book!

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    1. They've shown the grandmother's house! I know NSW is a big place, but it doesn't seem like it would be all that hard to track down the parent's names. I wonder how they've gotten the media to remain silent on their true identities. Maybe the tabloid media is more respectful in Australia than they are in America. Is that wrong to say?! I feel like in America, TMZ would've dug it up by now and plastered their photos all over the internet.

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  4. There are so many possibilities as to what could have happened to that sweet little man...I prefer to think he is alive and well somewhere.

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    1. I hope so...maybe adopted by a loving family? I always like to think that when children disappear. There are so many cases like this, too.

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  5. Missing children are the worst. I can't imagine never knowing and always looking for the missing child. I think it is very strange that the parents want to remain anonymous. I'd be doing whatever I could to find William, but everyone reacts differently to tragedy.

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    1. William has a "complicated family history." That's the reason they give for remaining anonymous. They appeared on the Australian 60 Minutes with their faces blurred out. But the "complicated family history" makes you wonder what the HECK...?

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  6. Where was the grandmother?? Well, he was abducted and many cases of abduction involve a parent or guardian due to some divorce or dispute over who should raise the child. I don't get how remaining anonymous helps the other kids...they know their brother went missing. I wonder if the parents did something illegal and don't want to be found out. I wonder if they adopted the child via illegal means? Somehow, if they came forward their family would be in public light which they don't want and it could be for the reason they state but...I think they may be hiding something. This seemed planned...like they were being followed and grabbed him fast. I also think it must have been 2 people, one behind the wheel and the other grabbing him otherwise it would have been too difficult to grab him, put him in the vehicle and then get into the driver's seat to drive without him crying out. To me, they were followed and were waiting for an opportunity to present itself. On a nicer note-congrats on your new book!!

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    1. She was on the back porch while the mom went in to get tea. That's one thing that confuses me. They say he was roaring as he ran around the front of the house...and the roar stopped. How long until they went to the front yard to look for him? Was it seconds? Even if they SAID it was, do we really know it was? He could have been lured across the street to one of those cars in fairly quick time. When I first heard about the case, I didn't know they'd been playing in the front yard earlier that day...and that's when that car drove by. The person in that car would have obviously seen William playing on his bike and could have kept driving by until he was in the front yard again. Just a thought...

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    2. I thought the same thing...too many questions that worry me about the parents

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  7. The complicated family history definitely makes this case weird. I hope the little boy is still alive. At least then there's a chance of a happy ending.

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    1. And IF that "complicated family history" means he was adopted, is it possible the birth mom had him abducted? I'm sure that sort of thing has been checked, if that's the case.

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  8. It is odd that mother went inside to make tea but what about grandmother, who was also out there watching the kids play? Was there a time lag somewhere? Did the mom and grandmom lose track of time? It's hard for me to believe this timeline. If I were to notice roaring like a tiger to complete silence, I would be on my feet immediately. It's not like losing a child in a crowded mall or something.

    Something sounds fishy about this whole scenario.

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    1. She was on the back porch and SUPPOSEDLY he ran from the back yard to the front yard and disappeared, but just because the roar stopped didn't mean he disappeared immediately. I'm curious how much of a delay there was between him running to the front yard and them going to look for him. Even if they SAY it was a matter of minutes, can we be sure of that? But if you're in (what you think is) a safe neighborhood and a young child runs to the front, how much would you panic? Especially since they were riding their bikes in the front yard earlier? (Although when they were on the bikes, they could have been supervised.) Maybe the mom came out and was angry that the Grandma didn't panic that the child was out front alone and that's when they went to check?

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    2. I feel like the mother and grandmother could be a little more open to the police, but for some reason I think they are feeling a little guilty and the full story never gets out that way. Maybe like you say, they didn't notice until much later than the few minutes they claimed. Maybe they fear being judged that the child was missing and they didn't notice just yet. Another reason for maybe wanting to remain anonymous, so that people wouldn't judge them for their negligence, if indeed there was negligence.

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  9. I agree with all that has been said, especially about keeping their last name unknown.

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    1. For the record, I've never read anywhere that "William Tyrell" wasn't his first and last name. Most of what I've read/heard has assumed Tyrell is his last name. Granted, it doesn't make sense that the parents/siblings could remain anonymous if that was the case. However, IF he was adopted (or in the process of being adopted), William Tyrell could be his real name and the parents don't want the real parents to know they were the ones who adopted him. That part of it is confusing to me and I don't know enough about adoption in Australia to speak for sure on it!

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  10. That's terribly sad! Though I can understand wanting to remain anonymous. The siblings can suffer greatly from such a thing, and losing a brother would be torture enough. It's quite a strange situation overall though!

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    1. It's odd...you'd think if they were part of any "community," people would know them, you know? Say your kids all go to a school in the area--other parents would notice one of your kids was missing. They'd know William when they saw him on the news, even. So unless you moved, even not putting your face on the news wouldn't be enough...word would eventually get out that the siblings were related to the missing child. I'd be more worried about that than whether or not MY face was on the news, so that part of it doesn't quite mesh for me.

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    2. Unless he was stolen as a baby and they were cleared suspects at the time. Yup--far fetched, I know. But there is some crazy reason why they will show the boy and not themselves. Possibly the grandmother or another relative gave the boy's pics to the press and not them, too. The whole thing is just very strange and puzzling.

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  11. Really odd that they want to remain anonymous. Maybe they kidnapped him in the first place? Or if he was being adopted the real parents or relatives stole him back? Somehow it sounds like he isn't their natural child and there's probably a lot more to it.

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    1. If they did...it would be assumed the real parents wouldn't recognize him by his picture? Because if the real parents recognized William, you can bet they'd go straight to the police and, anonymous or not, the parents would have to deal with that. I agree that it doesn't sound like that was their natural child. They've plastered his face all over the place, so it's not like they're protecting him by keeping themselves anonymous. My initial thought was that the parents were public figures somehow but if they were, there's no reason to keep that part of it secret.

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  12. So sad. I hope he is alive and well... The anonymous angle is strange.

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    1. I hope so, too. I know the statistics are pretty dire on that, but it still feels to me that some of the many abductions you see each year are done by people who end up raising the child as their own.

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  13. These stories are always so fascinating, and sad. I'd be so scared all the time if I was a parent.

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    1. Me, too! I think that's the only reason I can take reading this stuff. But even I can't handle listening to details about children being harmed. Some things are just too much for any human to hear.

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  14. Missing kids cases scare the _____ out of me. I want to hope for the best, but I usually assume the worst in these kinds of cases. The world can be beautiful, but it can also be horrible.

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    1. As Libby above said, I think I'd have a really hard time if I were a parent. Especially of a small child. There are so many sick people out there. It's just awful.

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  15. What an odd, sad case. I don't know how I would have gone on if one of my children had disappeared.

    Love,
    Janie

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  16. Oh my goodness. This is upsetting. You'd never think a child running from the back yard to the front would be in any danger. And the parents remaining anonymous is bizarre. I can only pray little William is safe and happy... :(

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  17. Hi Steph ... what a really strange case - just wish I knew what happened ... but extraordinarily odd circumstances. All the best - Hilary

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  18. I don't think I've ever heard of a Missing Person's case where the parents wanted to remain anonymous, and that seems so strange. Even more weird is that the authorities agreed to go along with it. Seems like it would make it so much more difficult to solve. Hugs...

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  19. This is a very interesting case!! I feel so sad about the missing child! It is very odd that the parents don't want to be known to the public!! I pray the child is alright!

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  20. It was actually the New South Wales government that gagged the parents from speaking out publicly for at least the first seven months since William went missing. This link goes into that aspect a little more - https://goo.gl/02B197 It could be that they are foster parents so permission would be needed from the biological parents which could also explain why they don't want the William's siblings being effected. Or it could even be a witness protection thing. We may find out one day, I guess.

    As to why they didn't check immediately when William's voice stopped mid-roar is that the father was expected home and they assumed he was greeting the Dad. When the Dad didn't make an appearance, they went to check. An abduction happens very quickly so it could be feasible. They were in the safety of the Grandmother's yard and it was an area with large land lots which backed onto a State Forest so they probably felt quite safe. It's a very sad case though and I do hope it can be solved one day.

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  21. This is intriguing. Odd that the parents want to remain anonymous, maybe the just want some privacy for the other child. I can't imagine the horror of not knowing what happened to my child.

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