Daniel Morcombe
Daniel Morcombe

Morcombe search to end next week

BRUCE and Denise Morcombe had hoped to find more of their son Daniel before authorities called off the search for his remains.

But they are grateful for the searchers' efforts and have no plans to pursue the search privately.

Police and SES searchers have found a pair of shoes belonging to the 13-year-old, who went missing while waiting for a bus on December 7, 2003, and numerous bones.

They have searched a site at Glasshouse Mountains since police charged Brett Cowan for Daniel's abduction and murder in August.

But Queensland police commissioner Bob Atkinson said yesterday police would wind up the search next week and release a summary.

"QPS has talked with a range of experts who have consulted on the search, and conducted an external peer review to ensure best practice has been followed," he said.

"I acknowledge police and SES volunteers who worked tirelessly in incredibly difficult terrain."

Morcombe family lawyer Peter Boyce said people would be "surprised" when the list of finds was made public next week.

"It is certainly more than has been published and it is significant, which ones were located," he said.

Yesterday was seven years and 10 months to the day since Daniel went missing and the Morcombes said they were "sad" the search would end next week.

"Although this is personally sad news because we always held hope of finding more remains, we are nonetheless appreciative of the extra-ordinary efforts ... in finding what we have," they said.

"The Morcombe family is comfortable with the search efforts and have no plans to continue this in a private capacity.

"Experts in this type of work have done all that is humanly possible."

Mr Morcombe said there was still "a significant portion of Daniel's remains" that had not been found.

"We think it's just the floods and the terrain. We appreciate the floods went through there earlier this year," he said.

"But I always look upon it that we're probably lucky to have what we have and we could so easily have drawn a complete blank."

Mr Morcombe said he would seek advice next week to determine when Daniel's remains might be released to the family for a funeral.

"We would like to say goodbye with a funeral at the earliest possible time. If that's December 7 (the eighth anniversary of Daniel's disappearance), great, but if it can't be, then we will wait for the next date."


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