Carla La Tella

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Wed, 24 Nov, 2021

“I’m still absolutely certain”: William Tyrrell neighbour speaks

“I’m still absolutely certain”: William Tyrrell neighbour speaks

Image: NSW Police

A man who claims to have seen William Tyrrell in the back seat of a speeding car on the day of his disappearance is still as confident as ever about what he witnessed that fateful day in 2014.

Ronald Chapman, a man waiting for his delivery of plants on the morning of September the 12th 2014, says “two cars gunned it” around the corner of his street about a kilometre away from William’s foster grandmother’s home in Kendall on the NSW Mid-North coast.

He claims the little boy was unrestrained in the back seat of the Landcruiser and still wearing a Spider-Man suit.

'I may be an old man, but I'm not a blind man,' Mr Chapman, who is due to turn 83 next month, told the Daily Mail.

'I'm still absolutely certain it was him. September 12 2014 is a day I will never forget.'

The retiree, who was born and raised in Kendall, told an inquest into William's disappearance and presumed death he was in the back seat of the gold or brown Landcruiser when it sped past his home about 10:45 am the morning he vanished.

A second car was a short distance behind.

In the seven years since William's disappearance, Mr Chapman claims he's 'never seen either car again'.

In a town as small as Kendall, home to just 1,141 residents, that is strange in and of itself.

'Everybody knows everybody here,' he said. 'I would've seen the cars again [if it was unrelated].'

He recalled seeing the face of a boy in the back seat of the Landcruiser, unrestrained but not distressed, while windows in the second car were too tinted to see inside.

Mr Chapman shared this information with police years after he vanished, initially under the impression police were doing the rounds to speak with locals and would get to him when they had a chance.

In total, he gave detectives three detailed interviews sharing what he saw and a further two at a coronial inquiry in 2019.

On Tuesday authorities crossed Batar Creek Road into new territory at the behest of professional body finder and water science expert Jon Olley. Within hours at the site, police have uncovered a large yellow bag which contains evidence that is being sent for forensic testing. Two more items were uncovered in a similar area.

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