Teen’s death ‘came out of the blue’
WARNING: This article discusses suicide
The family of William Wall, whose disappearance sparked a frantic two-day search through dense bushland, have spoken out in the hopes of raising suicide awareness.
William, 14, told his parents he was going for a quick run on a bush trail in the Yarra Ranges, in regional Victoria, on September 22.
However William failed to return home, kicking off a massive search involving police, SES and dozens of volunteers.
A day into the wide-scale search, William was found less than a kilometre from his Launching Place home, devastating his parents, siblings and the local community.
"I wish I had better news regarding our beautiful and caring son and brother William Wall, unfortunately he is no longer with us," William's dad Shane posted on Facebook, two days after his son's death.
Speaking to the Herald Sun almost a month after the tragedy, Mr Wall said the family was still dealing with the shock.
"It came out of the blue, there was nothing unusual leading up to his death," Mr Wall told the Herald Sun.
"We are struggling to come to grips with (it) - there's no note, I don't know what was going through his head.
"You want to be able to think there would be some telltale signs for us to pick up on earlier, but unfortunately there was nothing.
"It is not nice for someone to take their life, it is not nice for the people who are left behind. It is a tragedy."
Mr Wall said he and his wife had openly discussed suicide with their four children - Jake, 21, Harrison, 18 and Sophie, 10 - and the heartbreaking reality that followed after someone took their own life.
The family were front and centre during the extensive search and Mr Wall said he hoped the efforts of the community would bring William home.
But William, who had high-functioning autism, tragically didn't come home.
Mr and Mrs Wall said they were still floored by the support of the local community, who spent the entire night looking for William despite freezing and wet weather.
A GoFundMe was also set up by a neighbour of the Wall family raised more than $27,000 in a few days.
Mr Wall fronted the media the day William went missing and said his teenage son had dreamt of becoming a police officer or joining the air force.
"He loves exercise, 15 minutes to an hour, it's not unheard of, he's a decent-sized kid, very energetic, athletic," Mr Wall told reporters.
"He's a kid that sticks to himself, does all his school work, so this (his disappearance) is really out of the ordinary."
Originally published as Teen's death 'came out of the blue'