Poignant date: Missing toddler William Tyrrell would be four on Friday. Photo: Supplied Bruce and Denise Morcombe now visit schools to educate youngsters to recognise danger. Photo: Chris Hyde
The father of murdered Queensland teenager Daniel Morcombe fears William Tyrrell, who would be four on Friday, won’t be found alive.
Speaking ahead of the poignant date Bruce Morcombe, father of 13-year-old Daniel, who was abducted and murdered on the Sunshine Coast in 2003, said family members would be at different stages of acceptance of William’s fate and that special dates such as birthdays would be “incredibly upsetting”.
Mr Morcombe said some in the family would be still hoping William is alive, some might be thinking that, with every day passing, that is less likely and some would believe that the search was now for William’s remains.
“This can cause some families to fracture,” he said
“Everyone is hopeful but logic suggests statistically, as the months go by, he is not coming home. We strongly want a good news story to come out of this. We have been there and genuinely hope he will be found alive. I am sure the police are working incredibly hard to find the answers but with no sightings and no physical evidence, it is looking very grim for sure. Miracles do happen. Let’s hope there’s one here.”
Mr Morcombe said that, 12 days after Daniel, a twin, disappeared, he faced with his wife, Denise, trying to celebrate [twin brother] Bradley’s birthday.
“There was one cake when there should have been two,” he said.
“There are all these milestones. You just don’t forget. The 100-days anniversary or the 12-month anniversary are incredibly tough. We tried to be positive and tried to reactivate the investigation by appealing to the public for more information.”
Mr Morcombe was speaking the day after lawyers for Brett Peter Cowan, who was found guilty of the abduction and murder of Daniel, lodged an application for leave to appeal against his conviction.
In a separate development on Friday, whitegoods repairman Bill Spedding, repeatedly questioned over the disappearance of William Tyrrell, and named as a person of interest, was granted bail on charges of historical child sex offences.
Mr Spedding, 63, was arrested in April and charged with unrelated child abuse offences and at a previous hearing his lawyer, Robert Hoyles, told the courtroom his client would deny the charges “until his final breath”.
Mr Morcombe and his wife, who have set up the Daniel Morcombe Foundation, tirelessly visit schools to get across their message to youngsters to recognise danger, react by getting themselves to a safe place and then reporting it.
He said that they had taken their message to Herons Creek Public School, just five kilometres from where Daniel disappeared from his grandmother’s home in September, 12 months previously.
He also said that the family, from his experience, would be likely to be receiving distracting information from psychics.
“Personally, we found it quite distressing, a fair amount of it was bizarre and offbeat. I don’t place any amount of faith in psychic information. On our taskforce, it was an incredible distraction. They would say there’s a shed or a water tank … we had dozens or hundreds of leads and logic suggests that William’s case is similar to Daniel’s,” Mr Morcombe said.
“You can’t ignore them just in case it is a disguised confession, someone trying to get it off their chest and that they really do know something.”
From his experience there would be mountains of information coming in from the community including timelines of where people were at the time and vehicles of interest.
“An important role is capturing data from CCTV at local service stations and ATMs, which may be incredibly useful when the noose is drawn more tightly around a person of interest; it can perhaps break an alibi,” Mr Morcombe said. “If they can prove a vehicle was at a particular place, that sort of information can solve a case.”
In a message to the Tyrrell family, he added: “Remain positive, that’s all you can do. The police will be working hard; they want to solve it as well. They, I am sure, go to work not filling in the hours; they go to work to find the answers.”
NSW Police declined to comment on the progress of the investigation.
Free education resources for schools can be downloaded from the Daniel Morcombe Foundation website.
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