Family defend tradesman amid Tyrell search

The family of a tradesman whose NSW property is being searched as part of the investigation into missing toddler William Tyrell say he wouldn’t hurt a fly.

William “Bill” Spedding was earlier this week questioned and released by homicide detectives trying to solve the mystery of the three-year-old’s disappearance from his grandmother’s Kendall house more than four months ago.

A search of the washing machine repairman’s semi-rural Bonny Hills home – 20km from Kendall – and a pawnshop and unit in nearby Laurieton – 10km from Kendall – began on Tuesday.

On Thursday morning, police began removing a cordon from around the property.

It has been reported a maze-like structure existed beneath the NSW mid-north coast home, containing a number of cavity-like rooms.

Forensic specialists combed the grounds of the rural property, seizing a number of items, which have been sent off for testing.

An excavator worked in the yard, a septic tank was drained and sniffer dogs ran over the property, which is rented by the Speddings, who deny any involvement in William’s disappearance.

Mr Spedding, a repairman, allegedly gave a quote to fix a washing machine at the Kendall home a few days before William vanished, and had been due to return to the house that day.

There is no indication the 63-year-old is a suspect in William’s disappearance.

However, as word of the grandfather’s identity and photograph spread across the internet on Wednesday his relatives spoke out.

“My uncle I love him his (sic) innocent, he would never hurt a fly,” Mr Spedding’s niece posted on Facebook.

“People need to stop saying stuff about him and personal details about him on media …”

Another relative said she felt “sick and upset”.

Lisa Maree Gaffney said she knew Mr Spedding and had spoken to his wife and grandchildren many times.

“His boys r (sic) typical little boys … always polite and well looked after,” she wrote on Facebook.

Mr Spedding’s wife, Margaret, has also been questioned and released.

Mr Spedding had joined the local community’s call not to lose hope in finding William after the toddler inexplicably disappeared while playing in his grandmother’s yard at nearby Kendall on September 12.

The toddler was wearing his beloved Spider-man costume.

“Don’t give up looking…” he posted on Facebook last month.

Days later he posted a link to the “Bring Little Spiderman (sic) William Tyrell Home” page and wrote “where is he?”

Sweeping searches of surrounding bushland, waterways and neighbours’ homes yielded nothing.

This week’s line of inquiry is believed to have been sparked by a tip-off to Crime Stoppers.

Locals say the Speddings moved to the area about five years ago and that their pawnshop, Speddos, had recently closed.

Businessman Kerry Buttsworth said he saw up to 20 police officers at the upstairs business on Laurieton’s main street on Tuesday.

“They brought out a mattress and a couple of other things,” he told AAP.

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Family defend tradesman amid Tyrell search:

The family of a tradesman whose NSW property is being searched as part of the investigation into mis…

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