Young William in his Spiderman costume
Young William in his Spiderman costume

Hopes fade as search for 'spiderman' boy enters fifth day

HOPES are fading for missing three-year-old boy William Tyrell, who disappeared five days ago while playing in a Spider-Man suit on his grandmother's balcony.

State Emergency Service (SES) volunteers, police and members of the local community have been combing nearby bushland since the boy went missing on Friday morning.

It is believed he wandered into thick bushland while playing at his grandmother's home at Kendall on the mid NSW coast.

Up to 300 people have been taking part in the search, which is still being treated as a rescue, rather than a recovery operation.

Police have said they cannot rule out the possibility the boy was abducted, and the ABC has been told police are also speaking with all known sex offenders in the region.

William's family has urged anyone with information about his whereabouts to contact police.

Police from Mid North Coast Local Area Command have been coordinating the search, involving SES volunteers, RFS volunteers, members of the local surf lifesaving club, the police dog squad, mounted police, officers using trail bikes and Polair.

Police divers have searched a number of dams in the vicinity of where the boy was last seen.

The search has expanded to cover a 10 kilometre area.

Searchers are being coordinated and briefed at a designated meeting point at Kendall Showground.

William has been described as being of Caucasian appearance, with dark hair and hazel eyes. He was last seen wearing a 'spiderman' suit.

Parents warned after boy approached at Newcastle

Meanwhile, police are appealing for information after a boy was allegedly approached by a male at Islington, near Newcastle.

About 1:30pm on Sunday, a 10-year-old boy was standing on Maitland Road outside Islington Park while his mother parked and unloaded their car.

A male approached the boy and asked him to come with him, however, he declined and told his mother about the incident.

Police from Newcastle City Local Area Command are investigating the incident and are looking for the male described as being aged in his late teens, 180cm tall with a tanned complexion. He was wearing board shorts but no shirt.

Police are urging anyone with information about this incident to call Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.

The incident has again prompted police to encourage parents to discuss the 'Safe People, Safe Places' messages with their children, including;

- Make sure your parents or another adult you know knows where you are at all times.

- Always walk straight home or to the place you are walking to. Walk near busier roads and streets, or use paths where there are lots of other people.

- Know where safe places are - a shop, service station, police station, library or school. If you are ever frightened, you should go to one of these places and ask them to call the police.

- Learn about safe adults you can look for and talk to if you need help - police officers, teachers at school, adults you know and trust.

- Don't talk to people you don't know and never get into a car with someone you don't know. If a car stops on the side of the road and you don't know the person inside, do not stop.

- If you are scared and can use a phone, call 000 and tell them you are scared.

- If someone tries to grab you, yell out, 'Go away, I don't know you'. This lets other people know you have been approached by someone you don't know.

Truckie to pay $2500 to amputee motorcyclist after crash

Premium Content Truckie to pay $2500 to amputee motorcyclist after crash

Despite causing a serious crash which resulted in a man losing his leg below the...

Activate your free Courier Mail subscription for big rewards

Premium Content Activate your free Courier Mail subscription for big rewards

Did you know you can get even more – for free?

Bucking bulls make return to popular Mulgowie rodeo ring

Premium Content Bucking bulls make return to popular Mulgowie rodeo ring

Italmost months to the day since bulls bucked from the chutes at Mulgowie, but if...