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Created or corrected time: The question hanging over the last photo of William Tyrrell.

We all know that last known photo of missing three-year-old William Tyrrell: The young boy, roaring like a tiger, dressed in his Spider-Man suit on his foster grandmother’s veranda.

We’ve seen it so many times since his disappearance from Kendall, on the NSW mid north coast on September 12, 2014.

Almost five years on, the New South Wales Coroner has ordered an urgent forensic examination of the last known photograph of William with confusion over when exactly it was taken.

Listen to The Quicky debrief on the truth about William Tyrrell’s parents, and what happened after the three-year-old’s disappearance. Post continues below.


At the inquest into William’s disappearance, counsel ­assisting the Coroner, Gerard Craddock SC, said in his opening statement the photograph was taken at 9.37am and “That is a time of which we can be certain”.

That time set the window in which William disappeared as being between 9.37am and 10.57am, when his foster mother called triple-0.

However the photograph, which provides crucial “proof-of-life” evidence, will be examined by a photographic metadata expert, The Australian reported, after a 2000-page document revealed a “created time” of 7.39am and a “corrected time” of 9.37am.

The Australian said the report revealed the image is a .jpg created on a digital camera, and it said: “Created: 12/09/2014 07:39:54. Corrected time: 12/09/2014 09:37:44”.

State coroner Harriet Grahame agreed last week to an application by the lawyer of William’s biological father for further forensic testing, and told the court it needed to be investigated. Police have been unable to explain why the two different times exist.

Questions are also being asked about evidence provided by Kendall resident Ronald Chapman, who said he saw a woman drive past his Laurel Street home on the day William went missing, in a “fawn-coloured four-wheel drive” with a boy dressed in a Spider-Man suit in the back seat.

“In the backseat was a young boy with his hands up on the window [facing] outwards on the glass of the window,” Chapman told the inquest, as reported by the ABC.

“He was standing and unrestrained. He wasn’t crying. He was wearing a Spider-Man suit.

“I definitely saw William. I am 100 per cent certain it was William in the back of the car… no doubt.”

Chapman, a retiree, described the driver he saw as a woman “in her late 20s or early 30s,” with blonde tied-up hair.

The inquest for 2019 ended last week and is set to resume in March 2020.

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