Daniel Morcombe Inquest Findings To Be Revealed
Daniel Morcombe's family say they will be forever haunted by the chilling description of the kidnap and murder by the "repulsive paedophile" who killed their son.
But they are grateful for the coronial inquest that began in 2010 and ultimately led to Daniel's body being found, and life in jail for the killer, Brett Peter Cowan.
Findings are set to be handed down by state coroner Terry Ryan on Friday just over 15 years since the 13-year-old disappeared at a bus stop on his way to buy Christmas presents for his family in 2003.
The long-running inquest began examining if and when Daniel had died, and the adequacy of the police response.
The first question has been answered for Daniel's parents Bruce and Denise Morcombe (below) and their family who in a statement recognise the extraordinary efforts of police whose covert operation extracted a confession and re-enactment of events.
"The repulsive paedophile’s callous description of what took place that day and what he did to our much-loved Daniel is chilling to say the least," they say in the statement.
"His words have scarred us and will haunt us all forever."
"Today, collectively as a family we move on but individually we never forget," they said ahead of the coroner's findings.
Cowan, now serving life in jail for Daniel's murder, was arrested in 2011 after confessing to undercover officers in the elaborate police sting.
The inquest was put on hold while Cowan faced criminal proceedings, was convicted in 2014 and then exhausted his appeals.
It resumed again in 2016, hearing about the police handling of the case.
Former police officer Dennis Martyn told the reopened inquest he concluded Cowan had abducted the 13-year-old soon after interviewing him.
He said he told the then head of the homicide squad Mike Condon it was Cowan but was told to "f*** off".
His former police partner, Kenneth King, also testified he had considered Cowan a key suspect, but the major incident response team did not immediately pursue their lead.
Mr Condon told the inquest the conversation with Mr Martyn never took place, a claim he reiterated outside court.
The inquest also heard Maroochydore police did not appreciate that Daniel's disappearance was out of character, treating it as a teenage runaway.
The coroner heard their actions were consistent with police policy at the time.
The inquest also heard Cowan had been incredibly lucky in managing to coax Daniel away without leaving any forensic evidence or being identified in a more definitive manner.
Daniel's family say that from the "dark place" they have endured, they have managed to generate a momentum of hope and their son's legacy lives on with the Daniel Morcombe Foundation set up to keep children safe.