The parents of missing NSW boy William Tyrell have spoken on their son's mystery disappearance for the first time.
Tyrell vanished from his grandmother's property at Kendall, near Port Macquarie on the NSW mid-North Coast, in September 2014. A year on from the heartbreaking day they realised their son was gone, Tyrell's parents will speak to 60 Minutes in what reporter Michael Usher said was their first TV interview.
"William was stolen," his mother claimed. "He's got nowhere else to be, but home."
Usher told The Huffington Post Australia the story, chronicling the events before and after the disappearance of the little boy in the Spiderman suit, was one of the most emotionally taxing works of his long career.
"It kicked me in the guts. The way they described him was like how I describe my own son," Usher said.
"They are people who are walking around, having to go about a normal life, but they're dead inside. It's such an impossibly dark thought, to think of where he may be now."
He said the entire production crew behind the scenes were moved by Tyrell's parents.
"You can't put yourself in their shoes. Sometimes in interviews you can do that, you can understand. But I can't. I don't want to."
Usher said a complex legal situation had, until now, prevented the parents from speaking publicly.
"They've found the strength a year later to make sure the right appeals are made. That's why they've been so desperate to do this interview. They want people to know and love William, so someone out there will come forward with a tiny piece of information," he said.
Tyrell vanished on September 12. Since then, a campaign and plea for information has reverberated across the nation. Usher said the case had captured the hearts and minds of Australians like no other in recent memory, as the disappearance was "the rarest of the rare".
"Kids don't disappear in the circumstances he did... kids walk off, get lost, family matters mean kids get taken, but kids don't disappear. William disappeared. You have to scan the world for cases where kids are abducted like this," he said.
"This is a good family, a good kid, on a long weekend to nanna’s house. Then this kid has disappeared into thin air. It's the absolute mystery of it."
Usher echoed the words of investigator Detective Inspector Gary Jubelin in describing what might have befallen Tyrell.
"It's absolute evil meeting pure innocence."Suggest a correction