Police searching for 14yo boy missing after going for walk in Yarra Ranges

Victoria Police and SES workers are searching for a 14-year-old boy who is missing in the Yarra Ranges, east of Melbourne.

William Wall left his home at Launching Place at about 6:45am on Tuesday for his regular walk on the Warburton Trail.

He told his family he would be gone for about 15 minutes but has not returned home.

Police are worried about the boy, who has autism. They are concerned he may have become disoriented.

“It’s quite out of character for him,” Victoria Police Acting Senior Sergeant Jordan Kavanagh said.

“It’s quite a vast area, there’s a lot of difficult terrain.”

William Wall went for his daily walk on the Warburton Trail and never returned, police say.(Supplied: Victoria Police)

Acting Senior Sergeant Kavanagh said there had been a credible sighting of the boy near Warburton.

“The witness described an upset male matching the description [of the boy],” he said.

“He’s believed to have been sighted on a trail above Warburton, the aqueduct trail.”

He said SES, uniformed officers, the police helicopter and the boy’s family were assisting in the search.

“They’re quite upset, as you would be,” he said.

“They’re assisting us in all the ways they can and are out looking for him as well.”

A gate leading to the Warburton aqueduct trail.
Police say a witness saw an “upset male” on the aqueduct trail above Warburton.(ABC News: James Hancock)

William left his mobile phone at home, making the search more difficult, police said.

William was last seen wearing dark shoes, charcoal trackpants and a hooded jumper. He was also wearing a water backpack.

He is about 177cm tall, with a lean build and brown hair.

Police said anyone who saw the boy should approach him in a “calm manner”.

“If anyone does sight him, obviously call triple-0 or the local police station,” Acting Senior Sergeant Kavanagh said.

He said those involved in the search would work into the night if necessary.

SES searchers outside a police station.
SES officers gathered outside the Yarra Junction police station before joining the search for William Wall.(ABC News)

Temperatures in the area are forecast to drop to as low as 4 degrees Celsius.

“The Air Wing [police helicopter] has capabilities to detect heat during the night,” he said.

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