Tragic Find in Search for Missing Victorian Teen

By AAP
September 23, 2020 Updated: September 23, 2020

Teenager William Wall has been found dead a day after going missing in Victorian bushland not far from his home.

Almost 36 hours after the 14-year-old embarked on his daily outing near Yarra Junction, east of Melbourne, tragic news swept across the community on Sept. 23 afternoon.

“Police can confirm the sad news that 14-year-old William Wall has been located deceased,” a statement read.

His death is not being treated as suspicious.

William left his Launching Place home before 7 a.m. on Sept. 22 to go for his daily walk or run in the Yarra Ranges.

The teenager, who had high-functioning autism, told his family he would be gone for 15 minutes but didn’t return. He was not carrying his mobile phone.

His disappearance sparked an air and ground search involving about 100 emergency personnel.

Temperatures dipped to single digits overnight and there was rain in the area William went missing. Police had urged locals to check their homes and outbuildings.

William’s father made an emotional plea earlier on Sept. 23.

“Just come home—we want you home.”

Wall said William loved exercise and could easily run for 20 kilometres.

William had two older brothers, Jake and Harrison, and a younger sister, Sophie. Family members were involved in the search.

Crews had concentrated on a network of walking trails which covered difficult terrain.

William’s death comes three months after a teenage boy with non-verbal autism was rescued after two nights in freezing bushland near Mt Disappointment.

William Callaghan, 14, was found by local bushman Ben Gibbs. He was suffering exposure and minor injuries but was otherwise well.