‘It came out of the blue’: Devastated family of William Wall, 14, found dead in bushland after a desperate two-day hunt reveal their horror at losing their little boy – and how there were no signs of his inner struggle
- William Wall, 14, was found dead in bushland at Yarra Ranges, Victoria last month
- He’d gone for a run but failed to return home prompting a two-day search
- His father Shane opened up about his son’s death, saying it was ‘out of the blue’
- Volunteers and rescue teams searched well into the night in hopes to find him
- For confidential, 24/7 support call Lifeline 13 11 14
The heartbroken family of a teenage boy who was found dead in bushland after a desperate two day search said life has been a ‘blur’ since the tragedy.
William Wall, 14, told his family he was going for a run at Launching Place in the Yarra Ranges, east of Melbourne on September 22.
When he didn’t return home, his panicked family called police prompting a widespread air and ground search with emergency workers and volunteers looking for the boy well into the night in severe weather conditions.
But a day later William’s body was found less than a kilometre away from the family home.
His father, Shane, has opened up on the harrowing ordeal and said there were no signs leading up to William’s ‘out of the blue’ death, which is not being treated as suspicious.
William Wall (pictured), 14, was found dead at Yarra Junction, Melbourne September 23 hours after going missing on his daily jog a day earlier
‘We are struggling to come to grips with there’s no note, I don’t know what was going through his head,’ he told the Herald Sun.
‘It is not nice for someone to take their life, it is not nice for the people who are left behind. It is a tragedy.’
William’s disappearance sparked an air and ground search involving about 100 personnel from Victoria Police and the State Emergency Service.
For 32 frantic hours, rescuers and volunteers combed bushland in the hope of finding William, who had high-functioning autism, alive.
Mr Wall said while they were looking for his son, he had played out various scenarios in his head but never imagined the tragedy that was yet to unfold.
William’s distraught father Shane (pictured) has revealed there were no signs leading up to his ‘out of the blue’ death
Volunteers and rescue crews searched well into the night to find William before his body was found in bushland a day later (pictured, crews search Yarra Ranges on September 23)
Mr Wall (pictured, during the search on September 23) said the night before he disappeared, William had shared his dreams of joining the Airforce
The teenager’s mother, Teresa, said the overwhelming support of the community was helping the family get through.
Mrs Wall said her ‘beautiful’ son was extremely caring, often sending her messages telling her he loved her.
‘It is hard, it still doesn’t feel like reality yet, it hasn’t hit me properly. From the moment my husband said he wasn’t home, it has been a blur since,’ she said.
The night before William’s disappearance, the 14-year-old had shared his dreams about joining the airforce.
He’d also spoken about becoming a Victoria Police or Australian Federal Police officer.
William’s brother is comforted by rescuers after his body was found (pictured at Yarra Junction on September 23)
Friends console each other at the scene after police confirmed William’s body had been found
On the day he went missing, William had set out for his daily jog around 6.45am – telling his parents he’d be back in 15 minutes.
It remains unknown how long William had been dead before his body was found.
After his son’s death, Mr Wall penned a heartfelt letter thanking those who volunteered to help find him.
‘While still coming to terms of handling our grief of our loss of William I thought is was important to let the community know how much we love all of you,’ he said.
‘To the people that found my boy I know who you are and I will thank you in person.
‘To think William could have still been out there now as well as people still looking in this horrible weather would have broken our hearts even more.’
He added: ‘Be at peace my big boy.’
For confidential, 24/7 support call Lifeline 13 11 14