Grave Dug Up During Tyrrell Search

The body of a pet dog -- buried under a cross marked with the year William Tyrrell disappeared -- was exhumed from its grave in a NSW forest as police searched for the missing boy, an inquest has been told.

The three-year-old, dressed in a Spider-Man outfit, vanished while playing in the garden of his foster grandmother's home in the small mid-north coast town of Kendall on September 12, 2014.

During a thorough search in 2018 of undulating, dense bush near the house, police came across a cross with the year 2014 written on it.

"It struck my curiosity," Senior Constable Grant Hollis told the NSW Coroners Court on Thursday.

Day two of the formal inquiry into William’s disappearance opened in Sydney on Thursday morning.

William has been missing since September 12, 2014. IMAGE: supplied

The inquest is examining the thoroughness of the search for William, in part to allay community concern that he may simply have gotten lost in the bush, and hasn’t yet been found.

The inquest has heard that police believe he may have been taken from the quiet street in Kendall by a stranger, who happened to see him wandering toward the road, in the few minutes he was unattended on 12 September 2014.

The searchers were told to flag anything that appeared out of place. They posted photos to a WhatsApp group and called the control post for possible review.

William has been missing since September 12, 2014. IMAGE: supplied

A white baseball cap, a rusty crowbar, a Monopoly set with a notebook and a car's service log book were among other items bagged as possible evidence, the inquest was told.

"We leave the decision to investigators whether it is related or not," Snr Const Hollis said.

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"The majority was just rubbish, chip packets and your general household waste, clothes, items off motor vehicles, number plates, a service book which turned out to be from a stolen vehicle.

"The search was not only of the ground, if we got to a cliff or a tree, we'd look up or down."

The Tyrrell inquest resumed this week for a second round of hearings examining the fresh police investigation into William's disappearance.

During his opening address on Wednesday, counsel assisting the coroner Gerald Craddock said William was likely taken from the area in a car.

He described the person who took the three-year-old as "a sneaky, complex offender who has hidden their desires for some time".

The inquest was told police weren't aware of any eyewitness or forensic evidence - making it among the toughest cases to solve. But detectives remain hopeful.

A $1 million reward remains in place for information leading police to the whereabouts of William.

The inquest continues.

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