For 32 excruciating hours there was hope that missing autistic teenager William Wall, 14, would be found alive - that he would walk out of the dense bushland outside Melbourne dazed and with a few scratches, but otherwise unscathed.
William was last seen going for a jog on Tuesday - his disappearance sparking a massive search, and the tearful appeals of his distraught family tugging at the nation's heartstrings.
But the sad reality is the search for William - hampered by Stage Four covid restrictions that stopped volunteers joining the hunt - was never going to have a happy ending.
When police put out the news on Wednesday afternoon the autistic teenager had been found dead it was accompanied by an ominous statement.
'His death is not being treated as suspicious and police will prepare a report for the Coroner,' it read.
It can now be tragically confirmed that William's death was from suicide.
William Wall (Pictured), 14, was found dead at Yarra Junction, Melbourne on Wednesday, 32 hours after going missing on his daily jog on Tuesday
William's distraught father Shane (pictured) struggled to fight back tears as he thanked volunteers, police, the SES and family members who had been searching all night
Hours earlier, police had come under fire after worried locals had been turned away from helping the search efforts.
As far as they knew, the 14-year-old had gone out for his daily jog along the Yarra Ranges' Warburton Trail at 6.45am on Tuesday, promising his family he would be back in 15 minutes.
But he never returned to his home in Launching Place.
It remains unknown how long WIlliam had been dead before his body was found.
In all likeliness, the search - perhaps unbeknown to those that participated - was a recovery mission from the start.
William's disappearance had sparked an air and ground search involving about 100 personnel from Victoria Police and the State Emergency Service.
But police appeared keen to enforce Melbourne's stage four coronavirus restrictions, which includes staying within a five kilometre radius from home.
William's two older brothers and friends, who spent Tuesday night with rescuers looking for him on dirt bikes were stopped from continuing their search the next day.
'We've been told by all the police, saying we're not allowed to help because we're beyond the five kilometre radius, which is going to put more of a delay in finding him,' his older brother Harrison told Seven News.
Family friend Flynn Cousens added: 'I'd rather go outside the five kilometre radius and find him than stick to five kilometres and let him stay out there another night.'
William's older brother Harrison Wall (pictured) was stopped by police from continuing the search due to Melbourne's strict stage four lockdown restrictions
It's understood William's body was found in bushland at the end of a residential street less than two kilometres from his home.
Last night, William's family gathered at the blocked off road near where his body was found.
Distraught rescuers and locals were also seen consoling each other at the scene.
Family friend Tyson Truscott said the Walls would be shattered by the tragedy.
'He was a great kid. There is nothing bad about him. He loved going for runs, he went flat out,' he told the Herald Sun.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison described the outcome as very sad news.
'My heart goes out to William’s family and loved ones. Thank you to all those who were involved in the search,' he tweeted on Wednesday night.
Federal health minister Greg Hunt added: ' So deeply sorry to hear of the loss of William