The coroner who helped solve the case of murdered Sunshine Coast teenager Daniel Morcombe is now part of the search for missing toddler William Tyrell.
NSW State Coroner Michael Barnes confirmed to the Herald Sun that he is now working ‘closely’ with homicide detectives on the disappearance of three-year-old William.
Mr Barnes, who is known by colleagues as ‘Cold Case Barnes’, because of his influential work in unsolved murders, was instrumental in tracking down Daniel Morcombe’s killer. He was appointed NSW State Coroner in 2014 after a decade of service with the same title for Queensland.
Daniel Morcombe was just 13 years old when he was abducted from a Queensland bus stop in December, 2003. After five-and-a-half years of investigations, Daniel’s parents called for a coronial inquest hoping to find answers to their son’s abduction and murder.
Spearheaded by Mr Barnes, the inquest was held starting in October 2010 and concluding in April 2011 and called various ‘peoples of interest’ to give information. It led to the arrest of paedophile Brett Cowan, who was jailed for the murder of Daniel Morcombe. He is serving a life sentence in the Wolston Correctional Centre in Queensland.
Pertaining to William’s case, Mr Barnes said that no steps had been taken to open a coronial inquest at this stage. He added that he has been keeping up to date with the case of William’s disappearance, reportedly receiving regular updates from detectives.
His involvement in the case is part of a new strategy aimed at hastening the involvement of the coroner’s office in unsolved murders. Police have reportedly interviewed five people of interest, including accused paedophiles Tony Jones and William Spedding. A $1 million reward has also been offered for information on the toddler’s whereabouts.
William was just three years old when he went missing from his grandmother’s backyard in Kendall, NSW, on September 12, 2014. Concerned family and friends are rightly overjoyed at the news of Mr Barnes stepping in to offer his expertise in William’s case.