Bizarre twist over William Tyrrell Spider-Man photo
An IT expert has been ordered to undertake an urgent forensic examination of the last known photograph of William Tyrrell over doubts as to when the picture - a vital clue - was actually taken.
Metadata on the image of William, dressed in his Spider-Man suit, has revealed police confusion as to when the widely circulated image was taken.
The photograph is a crucial piece of evidence as it provides "proof of life" for the three-year-old on the morning of his disappearance - September 12, 2014 on the NSW mid-north coast, The Australian reports today.
A new document from the 2000-page brief of evidence at the recent inquest into William's disappearance reveals a "created time" for the image of 7.39am, and a "corrected time" of 9.37am, and police have been unable to explain the confusion.
The report reveals the image is a .jpg created on a digital camera, and it says: "Created: 12/09/2014 07:39:54. Corrected time: 12/09/2014 09:37:44."
The confusion has prompted deputy state coroner Harriet Grahame, to tell the court it "needs to be investigated".
The Australian understands Ms Grahame last week agreed to an application by Michelle Swift, counsel for William's biological father, for further forensic testing of the image.
The delay-plagued coronial inquiry into the child's suspected abduction nearly five years ago now won't sit for another six months.
The three-year-old was wearing the Spider-man suit when he disappeared while playing in his foster grandmother's garden in Benaroon Drive, Kendall.
Last week, the hearing was told a nearby resident was convinced he saw the boy in one of two cars driving erratically away from the direction of her Benaroon Drive home together that morning.
"I'm 100 per cent sure it was William in the back of the car," Ronald Chapman told the NSW Coroners Court.
The 80-year-old said he was walking to the mailbox outside his Laurel Street house at 10.45am when he spotted a woman driving past in a fawn-coloured 4WD.
"In the back seat (was) a young boy, with his hands up on the window," Mr Chapman said.
"He wasn't crying … he was wearing a Spider-man suit."