Police and SES volunteers at the site of a ground search in bushland near the Glasshouse Mountains. Searchers found a shoe at the site yesterday which has been sent for forensic testing.
Police and SES volunteers at the site of a ground search in bushland near the Glasshouse Mountains. Searchers found a shoe at the site yesterday which has been sent for forensic testing.

Accused attended nearby church

A SUNSHINE Coast church which is based just metres from where Daniel Morcombe disappeared has confirmed the man accused of the teenager’s murder attended there three years earlier.

Stories have appeared on the Gold Coast and on a Brisbane website linking the Suncoast Christian Centre to the accused.

But senior pastor Chas Gullo said the man left the church well before Daniel disappeared.

A suppression order was lifted this week, allowing the media to name the alleged killer, Brett Peter Cowan.

Mr Cowan is from Perth but it is understood he lived on the Coast for some time, both at Beerwah and Nambour.

The Morcombes are hoping that by having Mr Cowan’s name made public, other information may come forward which could help the police case and for the search for Daniel’s remains.

Dr Gullo confirmed Mr Cowan first came to the church in about 1998, where he met his wife.

He attended there on and off for about 18 months.

He left around the start of 2000 – more than three years before Daniel disappeared.

Dr Gullo said church leaders did annual training to ensure the safety of children in the church, which is attached to an 800-strong school.

He said the church had launched a campaign to create ”strong families and a safe city” about a year before Daniel disappeared.

Church members and college students had actively supported the work of the Daniel Morcombe Foundation, which begins its annual Walk for Daniel from the Woombye church’s carpark each year.

Last night, hundreds of members of about a dozen Coast churches were expected to pray for a breakthrough in the search effort for Daniel’s remains.

Declaration: The Daily’s editor was a former member of the church.


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