The body of missing teenager William Wall has been found in Victorian bushland with police stating his death was not suspicious.
“Victoria police can confirm the sad news that 14-year-old William Wall has been located deceased,” a police spokesperson said in a statement on Wednesday evening. They said his death was not being treated as suspicious.
William disappeared before 7am on Tuesday morning, sparking an air and ground search involving about 100 personnel from Victoria police and the State Emergency Service.
He had left his Launching Place home to go for a walk in the Yarra Ranges. The teenager told his family he would be gone for 15 minutes but did not return.
The air and ground search had involved police, including officers on horseback, as well as the SES and bush search and rescue.
William’s father, Shane Wall, was emotional earlier on Wednesday when he thanked those involved in the search effort. “The police, the SES are doing a top job, and people are getting out there and his brothers’ mates are just all over the place,” he said.
Searchers had been concentrating on the Warburton rail trail, which runs about 40km from Lilydale to Warburton and covers difficult terrain, and the O’Shannassy aqueduct trail above Warburton.
William’s death comes three months after another teenage boy with non-verbal autism was rescued after spending two nights in freezing bushland near Mount Disappointment. William Callaghan, then 14, was found by local bushman Ben Gibbs. He was suffering from exposure and a few injuries but otherwise well.
Crisis support services can be reached 24 hours a day: Lifeline 13 11 14; Suicide Call Back Service 1300 659 467; Kids Helpline 1800 55 1800; MensLine Australia 1300 78 99 78; Beyond Blue 1300 22 4636
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