Inquest into Daniel's death
THE details are “graphic”, the suspects numerous and the evidence heartbreaking.
But for Bruce and Denise Morcombe, some of questions haunting them for almost seven years are finally being answered.
On December 13, 2003, the Morcombe’s 13-year-old son, Daniel, left the family’s Palmwoods home to go Christmas shopping at Sunshine Plaza.
The rosy cheeked, blue-eyed boy was never seen again, abducted from under the Kiel Mountain Overpass on the Nambour Connection road.
It is believed he was murdered.
Following the largest police investigation in Australia’s history, the Morcombes now have access to the extensive brief of evidence handed to state coroner, Michael Barnes.
They are confident a coronial inquest into Daniel’s abduction and suspected murder will be held before the end of the year at the Maroochydore Courthouse, with a “working date” set.
It will be the first time the public and media will hear the closely-guarded details of the investigation.
Most importantly for the Morcombes, however, persons of interest in relation to Daniel’s disappearance, which number more than 20, will be called to give evidence.
And the Morcombes will be allowed to ask questions.
“The inquest is going to be unnerving for us as a family but it will be much more unnerving for the persons of interest. They will be quizzed under oath,” Mr Morcombe said.
“Some of what we’ve read in the brief is very disturbing.
“We’ll have to sit face to face and hear the graphic and distasteful stories from the mouths of these people, but we’re prepared to do that if it means we find whoever took Daniel.
“Putting these people away for a long time is the focus.”
Mrs Morcombe said she would be willing to ask questions of persons of interest.
For her, sifting the truth from the lies would be the biggest challenge.
“A lot of the persons of interest are career criminals and they don’t care if they go back to prison or if they lie. They don’t care if they hurt our family,” Mrs Morcombe said.
“Someone out there knows what happened to Daniel and if I have to appeal to them to get answers, I will.
“We just need that one piece of information that will solve the case and help us find Daniel.
“We want to be able to say goodbye to our son.”
Mr Morcombe said an “underworld maze of drug figures” had been singled out in the brief, as had suggestions Daniel had been abducted and sexually abused.
Opportunistic motives such as robbery gone wrong have also been raised.
“Reading through the criminal histories of some of the persons of interest you don’t want them on the streets,” he said.
“They are the filth of society.
“There are no new names, we’re just astounded by the number at the pointy end.
“Police could not eliminate a lot of the people.”
The Morcombes said they were concerned their remaining sons, Daniel’s twin Bradley and older brother Dean, would have to hear the graphic details of the case, but said it was essential for them to have a sense of “closure”.
And if no conviction came from the coronial inquest the Morcombes said they would still continue to search for their lost son.
“What else can we do?,” Mrs Morcombe said.
“If the inquest does not come up with answers we won’t give up.
“No stone will be left unturned.”