William Tyrrell’s dad breaks silence: ‘I’m so sorry’
WILLIAM Tyrrell's biological father has laid bare his despair since his son's kidnap four years ago, sobbing: "Where are you William?…I'm so sorry."
In his first interview since his son disappeared without trace, Brendan Collins told how he has searched in vain for his son digging in bushland with a shovel since his release from Silverwater jail two weeks ago over drugs and theft charges.
Yesterday, police searching for William were fitted with GPS trackers to avoid missing a single clue as they searched through 600sq m of dense scrub in Kendall where the toddler went missing almost four years ago.
Speaking haltingly to his son through The Daily Telegraph, Mr Collins, also known as Brendan Clifford, said just weeks ago: "I'm so sorry for whoever's done this to you William, I don't know who took you in your Spiderman suit.
"I've been out looking for you with a shovel digging in bushland… I know there's no point.
"I think you're dead, I think someone has hurt you bad. I'm so sorry I couldn't help you."
Through heavy sobs, he went on: "I tried to run away with William when he was nine months, we were happy, just me and him for seven weeks, until DOCs took him into care.
"I know I've had a history of drugs problems but I'd never harm my boy.
"DOCS took him from me to keep him safe and now… he's probably dead."
Stuck between hope and despair, Brendan, who struggles with depression and is living with his mother Natalie Collins in Maryland, near Newcastle, revealed police questioned him over the nation's most baffling missing child case.
He believes harm came to his son days in the lead-up to William's kidnapping when he was three.
William's abduction on September 12, 2014 sparked one of the biggest manhunts in Australian history and his biological father's split with the boy's mother Karlie Tyrrell and descent into drugs, crime and mental problems.
William was removed around the age of eight months and placed with the foster care family with whom he was living when he was abducted from a quiet cul-de-sac in the NSW mid north coast town of Kendall, at his foster grandmother's home.
There is no suggestion any member of William's foster or biological family had anything to do with his disappearance.
Mr Collins and Ms Tyrrell both say they have suffered the debilitating effects of losing a son.
Mr Collins was released this month from prison after serving a two-month non-parole period of a seven-month sentence for theft and minor drug offences.
Karlie Tyrrell has a violent past with convictions for serious assaults against female police officers and destruction of property.
Sentencing Mr Collins in January, Magistrate Kathy Crittenden acknowledged he had suffered under the weight of his son's 2014 abduction and set an earliest release date for March 14.
Collins was convicted of eight charges of having stolen items in his possession including bank cards, toys, novelty items and clothing.
He was also convicted of minor drug possession after police found him with a "minuscule" amount of methamphetamine, or ice and a glass pipe.
If still alive, William Tyrrell would be celebrating his seventh birthday in June.
NSW Police Strike Force Rosann has an open and active investigation into the mystery of William Tyrrell's abduction.
"The first person the police came looking for was me, I wasn't with William when he went missing, he was with his foster carers in Port Macquarie," Mr Collins said.
"I'm still furious over that, what a slap in the face, I was at home in Granville.
"Silverwater was self-inflicted but I'm of a healthy frame of mind now, I'm clean and off ice - I don't even smoke cigarettes when I'm stressed anymore.
"William is constantly on my mind"
"I don't know if I'll ever find him. I'm not sure I want to."
"My parole officer wants me to see a phycologist over William, I will when I get some money because I get flashbacks of him in that spiderman suit playing I the garden."
Anyone with information on the whereabouts of missing William Tyrrell should contact Crimestoppers on 1800 333 000. For support contact Lifeline 13 11 14.