How court turned Daniel Morcombe into a "thing"
WHEN Daniel Morcombe became defined as "a thing" during his murderer's court case, his parents' blood boiled.
Bruce and Denise Morcombe still find that classification - used when they were fighting to bury their son's remains - repulsive.
The Morcombes - who have released a book Where is Daniel? The Family's Story - waited 467 days after their 14-year-old son's remains were found in bushland at the Glasshouse Mountains to "bring him home".
"Knowing they were powerless in the battle to bring Daniel home paralysed both of them," the book read.
"When they thought they were nearing the summit, it presented as yet another mountain to climb.
"Daniel had clearly been violated already in his short life and now he was not even being treated as a human being in death."
Under the Queensland Evidence Act, Daniel's remains - which sadly amounted to just 17 bones - was termed "a thing".
The Morcombes were told they could not have his remains until after all legal avenues were exhausted.
This would have meant they were still waiting with murderer Brett Peter Cowan's appeal pending.
But after a legal wrangle, the remains were returned during the committal hearing in 2012 and Daniel was laid to rest exactly nine years after he met a terrifying end.
Mr Morcombe, speaking at a book launch in Brisbane, said chapter 28 about that battle was, for him, one of the most emotional times in their journey.
He said after waiting almost eight years to confirm Daniel was abducted and murdered, they just wanted to give him the dignity of a proper burial.
"Daniel is not a thing," he said.
"A lot of people would think that once the DNA tests were done on Daniel's remains that there would be a relatively automatic process, a system in place, an opportunity for prosecution ... and defence to do all the tests they need to do and then they're released in a timely fashion to the family."
Changing that piece of legislation is among many quests the Morcombes have pursued in the hope they can make life a little easier for any unfortunate people to follow in their footsteps.
"You do grit your teeth and think this is not right, why is this happening to us, but at the end of the day we've always tried to look forward and try and make it easier for some body else that might be following in our footsteps," he said.
Mr Morcombe said he hoped the book could help other people cope with tragedy if they could gleam insights into how to move forward.
"If somebody is buying this thinking we'll get the nitty gritty on all the behind the scenes investigative action, that is contained and that is the cornerstone of what's happened to us in the past 10.5 years, but the other half the book is very much a story of survival," he said.
"How the Morcombe family has survived, progressed, how our boys have grown ... it's also very much about how Denise and I have coped over that journey which has had its challenges like any relationship would, but we've stood the test of time."
"They just want to get on with their lives"
DANIEL'S brothers Brad and Dean could have turned to drugs or hidden from the hand they were dealt.
But their parents could not be prouder of the way they turned out.
Brad, Daniel's twin, is getting married in two weeks from Saturday and his whole family is looking forward to it.
"You can see the boys since the verdict have really changed," mother Denise Morcombe said.
"They're really happy, they just want to get on with their lives.
"They've both got good jobs, they've both got nice girls that they're with, good homes.
"They're just getting on with their lives just doing things that normal (20-somethings) should be doing.
"I'm really proud of how they turned out."
Mr Morcombe said it was not easy to review the file news footage and newspaper clippings when they were compiling the book.
"You can see quite literally the physical toll it's taken on ... me," he said reluctant to pull his wife, standing right next to him, into that comment.
"We have probably aged 20 years in 10."
Mrs Morcombe said her and husband Bruce, who have now moved away from Palmwoods where Daniel grew up during his killer's trial, had just signed a contract to build a new house.
She said despite everything, the Sunshine Coast was their home.
"We're staying there, the three boys are there," she said.
"It is a lot easier going to a different suburb, not having to drive past the underpass, our old home and the cemetery.
"Of course we still go to Palmwoods all the time but it's not every single day that you have to."