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Tyrrell search to last 'weeks and weeks' as police battle challenging weather

THE team of 30 police, predominately made up of officers from the Public Order Riot Squad, who have been working tirelessly for one week searching for missing boy William Tyrrell at Kendall in northern NSW have been relieved.

A new operational support team was inducted over the weekend and started the difficult task of digging and sifting through the soil at the search site on Cobb and Co Rd/Batar Creek Rd today (November 22).

They are assisting five detectives and eight crime scene officers in the search.

Search continues: Officers are working through difficult weather conditions at the search site with more rain predicted. Photo: Ruby Pascoe

Search continues: Officers are working through difficult weather conditions at the search site with more rain predicted. Photo: Ruby Pascoe

The wet weather is proving to be a challenge for the new team, with over 40mm of rain recorded in the region over the past few days, including a short but powerful storm on Saturday night which left protective tarp coverings and marquees at the search site upended.

The wet weather is expected to continue well into this week.

"The plan at this stage is for the search to continue regardless of the weather," a NSW Police spokesperson said.

"It's a task that now has to be undertaken in difficult conditions. But there is plenty of work the officers can do while the weather conditions aren't the best."

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The search area has also been expanded earlier than expected due to the weather.

"Police are now digging across the road from the search site. This is an area they were always going to search, it's just happened earlier because of the weather," a NSW Police spokesperson said.

Police conducted line searches of the search site on Monday (November 22) where digging hasn't yet commenced. Cadaver dogs were also brought in on Monday to assist in the search.

Cadaver dogs assisted police in the search on Monday.

Cadaver dogs assisted police in the search on Monday.

A hessian bag is one of the latest item exhumed from a search area off Cobb and Co Rd, not far from the home formerly owned by William's late foster grandmother and from where he disappeared in 2014.

A black piece of fabric was also found on Sunday in the same area where two pieces of red string were discovered last week.

Police also uncovered a piece of cloth from the soil on Monday (November 22) morning.

All of the pieces of fabric found at the search site have been photographed and sent to the Forensic and Analytical Science Service (FASS) in Sydney to be forensically examined.

It is unclear at this stage if any of the potential evidence found at the search site is of significance to William's case, a NSW Police spokesperson said.

Meanwhile, NSW Police Commissioner Mick Fuller says investigations will continue "until investigators believe that job is done".

More than 15 tonnes of soil has been taken to a lab for analysis and Mr Fuller says it could be "weeks and weeks of searching through that before we have any answers".

"A big part of that is either locating his body or remains of his body at Kendall," Mr Fuller said.

"We want to be certain that the search is being done as thoroughly as possible."

Police have searched less than 20 per cent of the 1.5 square kilometre area, with the search expected to extend well beyond three weeks.

This story Tyrrell search to last 'weeks and weeks' as police battle challenging weather first appeared on Port Macquarie News.