"There are a lot of unknowns baffling us at this stage. We have put a lot into this. We have come to the stage where we are going over the same ground and we're not finding anything," Mid North Coast local area commander superintendent Paul Fehon told a community briefing in Kendall on Sunday.
The briefing was called by NSW Police to inform and praise the community for their unwavering support of the search for missing three-year-old William Tyrell.
William went missing from a home in Benaroon Drive Kendall at around 10.30am Friday September 12. Despite extensive searches by hundreds of emergency personnel and community volunteers, no trace of the little boy has been found.
"You've heard the media that we've put out there in regard to whether young William was lost in the bush or whether young William succumbed to some other human intervention; of course I think that is the area that will be of most concern to you the community," Supt Fehon said.
The police and emergency services have spared nothing in the search for William. PolAir have searched from the sky, police dog units have spent days going through the bush, police divers and specialist investigators have been on the scene and experts far and wide consulted. Volunteer emergency services have rostered dozens of their members every day and brought whatever vehicles to help in land and water searches.
"A young child can only go so far," Supt Fehon said.
"We consulted with an expert in geoforensics in regard to the areas we should be looking at. This expert has worked on several high-profile, international cases of child disappearances and when he went over this one, it's fair to say, he was baffled as well. It's just not making sense that we don't have that next lead. But that doesn't mean we give up."
Supt Fehon reflected back to 10.30am Friday September 12, the time William disappeared: "There were three generations of a family in the back yard at Benaroon Drive at the time William was playing. In a very short space of time he disappeared.
"As you can imagine having three generations of family there playing, supervising or just around, it's extremely unusual for us over the period of time that we have spent out there to not be able to come up with something."
The crowd heard from specialist land and water search coordinator senior constable Tim Williams, Stephen Hart regional controller of the SES, operations officer for the Mid North Coast RFS Guy Duckworth and police chaplain Father Paul Gooley who read aloud a letter of appreciation from William's family.
Supt. Fehon said while the search of the local area would be scaled back, the investigation would continue. Strike force Rosann will carry on as police move away from the search phase.
"It will continue until we find something. The NSW Police have a commitment to try and locate something in relation to young William and to be able to give his family some information as to what may have occurred," he said.
"We are around. We are not leaving; although our search vehicle won't be here," Supt Fehon told the community.
"Anything you do see, please report it to us. The investigation will continue and any bit of information we have will be followed up on. I stress that someone out there ob viously knows something."
If you have any information, please contact Crimestoppers on 1800 333 000.
Sign up for our newsletter to stay up to date.