NSW police have offered an unprecedented $1,000,000 reward for the safe return of missing toddler William Tyrrell on the second anniversary of his disappearance.
NSW police commissioner Andrew Scipione and NSW premier Mike Baird announced the reward at a press conference in Sydney on Monday morning.
"We've never had a $1,000,000 reward ever before. That's 1,000,000 reasons why somebody that's out there that knows what's happened should come forward and talk to us, and do it soon," Scipione said.
Detective inspector Gary Jubelin, who is leading the investigation into William's disappearance, denied the reward was a sign police had run out of leads to follow.
He said police had received over 1000 reported sightings of William, and over 2000 calls to Crime Stoppers in relation to the disappearance, and have identified 690 persons of interest.
Jubelin also assured anyone with information relating to William's disappearance that they can be protected if they come forward.
"If you've got information in regards to William's disappearance and you've got concerns that you could be potentially complicit in the offence by concealing the offence, that offence will be negated the moment you come to police," he said.
"The thing that you might weigh up if you have got the information that you're sitting on, there is now a million reasons to come forward."
Jubelin said he believes there's a good chance that William is still alive, and ruled out any involvement of William's family or death by misadventure, in his disappearance.
"Until we've got evidence to the contrary, we'll treat this investigation as if he is potentially alive," he said.
Three-year-old William had been playing with his sister during a surprise visit to his grandmother’s home on Benaroon Drive at Kendall, on the NSW mid-north coast, on Friday, 12 September 2014.
Then aged three, William’s family had paid a surprise visit to his grandmother’s home on Benaroon Drive at Kendall, on the NSW mid-north coast, on Friday, 12 September, 2014.
William and his sister were playing just metres from the family home when William suddenly disappeared. A huge search was immediately set up but no trace of William has ever been found.
Police have repeatedly questioned a local repairman, Bill Spedding, who had been in touch with William's grandmother about a repair job in the days preceding William's disappearance. Spedding has publicly denied any involvement.
Police are urging anyone with information in relation to this incident to call Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or use the Crime Stoppers online reporting page.
Rob Stott is a news editor for BuzzFeed News and is based in Sydney.
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