A frantic dad fought back tears in a desperate TV interview as the search for his missing autistic son continues into the night on Melbourne’s outskirts.
William Wall, 14, was last seen heading out for his daily jog along the Yarra Ranges’ Warburton Trail at around 6.45am on Tuesday, promising his family he would be back in 15 minutes.
But he never returned to his home in Launching Place and was still missing on Tuesday evening.
William’s distraught father Shane issued an emotional plea as police and State Emergency Service volunteers spent the day scouring bushland and difficult terrain from the air and on the ground.
The desperate search to find William Wall (pictured) continues after he didn’t return home
‘I just want him home, as simple as that,’ he told Nine News as he fought back tears.
‘Just get home. That’s all I want and be well.’
His family told police it’s ‘very unusual’ for William not to return home.
As the search continues into the night, police hold growing concerns for William’s welfare as he may become disorientated and agitated without food.
An emotional Shane Wall (pictured) fought back tears as he pleaded for his son to come home
Mr Wall spent the whole day searching for his son and remains hopeful William will be found safe and sound.
‘At the moment, everyone’s hoping that he’s going to be okay,’ he said.
‘If he’s held up somewhere, just stay bloody warm. I just want him to reach out to someone if he sees someone. He doesn’t have his phone on him.’
Crews will continue the widespread search well into the night, with temperatures forecast to plummet to 4C.
Police were flooded offers from locals to join the search but had to reject them.
‘In line with coronavirus restrictions, at this stage we do not require any assistance from the public,’ a post on the Eyewatch – Yarra Ranges Police Facebook page states.
‘We want to say a big thank you however, for the all the offers we have received.’
While William is autistic, he can communicate verbally.
The widespread search for autistic teen William Wall continued into the night on Tuesday
He’s described as 177cm tall, being of slim build, having mousy brown hair and a lazy right eye.
He was last seen wearing a dark hoodie, dark-coloured track pants, black running shoes and had a hydration pack across his chest.
Police have received reports of a possible sighting near Warburton earlier in the day.
‘We have had a possible sighting from a credible witness we believe in the Warburton area so that’s given us quite a good place to start,’ Acting Sergeant Jordan Kavanagh told reporters earlier in the afternoon.
‘He’s believed to have been sighted on a trail above Warburton, the [O’Shannassy] Aqueduct Trail, that’s the last sighting we have … The witness described an upset male matching the description.’
The teenager went out for his daily morning jog along the Warburton Trail (pictured) around 6.45am Tuesday morning but hasn’t been seen since
Anyone who has seen William or can provide information on his whereabouts is urged to call triple-zero.
William’s disappearance comes three months after non-verbal autistic teen William Callaghan became separated from his family during a walk at Mount Disappointment, 60km north of Melbourne,.
The teen spent two nights alone before being miraculously found safe and well.
Source: Daily Mail AU