On Tuesday, police launched an extensive search for a 14-year-old boy with high functioning autism.
The boy, named William Wall, had gone missing during a jog near Launching Place, which is 54 km from the Melbourne metropolitan area.
Now, Victoria Police have found his body near the Yarra Junction trail. Currently, the police are waiting for an autopsy report. However, Wall’s death is being treated as an accident since there is no evidence of foul play.
According to the Wall’s parents, he went for a jog at around 6:45 AM. Apparently, he went there every morning for his daily exercise.
Since he had high functioning autism, Wall was very rigid about punctuality. After he did not return, his parents called the police. Multiple officers and SES teams flooded the Launching Place locality.
Wall’s older brothers and family friends tried to aid the search. However, officials did not allow them to help because of COVID-19 restrictions. Both brothers and friends expressed their frustration at this.
Wall’s friend, Flynn Cousens, stated, “I’d rather go outside the five kilometre radius and find him than stick to five kilometres and let him stay out there another night.”
Emergency search teams were launched, searching the Warburton Trail at a 10-mile radius. Community volunteers were also aiding the search party.
Police found his body in a bushland, less than two kilometers away from his home.
His family is reportedly distraught. However, Wall’s father spoke to the press, thanking the police, community volunteers, and SES team members for their help and dedication.
Both the Australian Prime Minister and Federal Health Minister have spoken out about the tragedy.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison tweeted, “My heart goes out to William’s family and loved ones. Thank you to all those who were involved in the search.”
Federal Health Minister Greg Hunt also weighed in: “So deeply sorry to hear of the loss of William Wall. Just a terrible, terrible loss of a beautiful young life. My thoughts and prayers are with his family, his friends and the Yarra Ranges community.”