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Public farewell for Daniel Morcombe

Daniel Morcombe
Daniel Morcombe

4pm: THE Morcombe family will welcome the public to farewell Daniel exactly nine years since they last saw him.

Daniel Morcombe's funeral will begin at 11am next Friday at St Catherine of Siena.

Father Joe Duffy and Father Jan Bialasiewicz will officiate the ceremony at the church, which is on the Siena College grounds.

The family is planning a farewell "reflective of Daniel's short life" but they do not want "a sad affair" or any anger.

Instead of buying flowers, the family has asked people to donate to the Daniel Morcombe Foundation to support Daniel's valuable legacy.

The foundation works hard to protect other children, keeping kids safe and helping young victims of crime.

The family has also asked people to wear a touch of red, the colour of the t-shirt Daniel was wearing the day he went missing, in his memory.

The shock release of the 13 year old's remains came after his accused murderer relinquished his hold on their release in Brisbane Magistrates Court on Thursday.

Bruce Morcombe said on Friday morning that the family's focus now was on ensuring Daniel was given a fitting farewell but they would not lose sight of pursuing justice for their boy.

"Let's not forget where we are and why we are here," he said.

"All those years ago Daniel was abducted and he was murdered.

"Somebody has done this. We need to find who is responsible and obviously they need to pay a price for that."

Mother Denise Morcombe said the family was in shock that the goal they had been working towards had finally arrive.

"It means everything. We've been waiting nine years," she said.

"We can put Daniel to rest now. It'll be a relief for everyone, to Daniel's grandparents and the rest of our family.

"We are surprised but Bruce and the boys have been working hard for months and we finally got an answer."

The Morcombes will still attend the committal hearing in Brisbane on Monday.

 

Earlier: The father of Daniel Morcombe has vowed to ensure that someone is held responsible and pays a price for the death of his son.

Speaking outside the Brisbane Magistrates Court on Friday morning, Bruce Morcombe said while the family's focus now was on ensuring Daniel was given a fitting farewell, they would not lose sight in pursuing justice for their boy.

"... let's not forget where we are and why we are here,'' Mr Morcombe said.

"All those years ago Daniel was abducted and he was murdered.

"Somebody has done this. We need to find who is responsible and obviously they need to pay a price for that.'' 

The Morcombes expect to release funeral details for Daniel at 4pm today.

They are planning a farewell "reflective of Daniel's short life" but they do not want "a sad affair" or any anger.

The family is still working through logistical issues such as venue availability, parking and other details to lay their son to rest in the next seven to 10 days.

Mother Denise Morcombe said the family was surprised they would receive Daniel's remains today.

"It means everything. We've been waiting nine years," she said.

"We can put Daniel to rest now. It'll be a relief for everyone, to Daniel's grandparents and the rest of our family.

"We are surprised but Bruce and the boys have been working hard for months and we finally got an answer."

Mr Morcombe described it as an "enormous relief and a huge milestone".

He said the family was private and quiet so not a lot was said after the news on Thursday.

Mr Morcombe said he just made sure there were "not too many dark thoughts"

He said his son's legacy was through the Daniel Morcombe Foundation's work in child safety.

"Lots of good work has come out of that and will be ongoing well into the future," he said.

"That's a positive to come out of a very untidy situation.''

 

11.15am UPDATE: A long-time Woombye local saw an "unkempt" man talking to a boy in a "bright" shirt at the site Daniel Morcombe went missing.

Wendy Burnett, who has lived at Woombye since 1981, said it stood out because it was an odd place for people to stand, near the Kiel Mountain overpass.

She said she was a passenger in a car with her husband driving along Nambour Connection Rd on December 7, 2003.

Mrs Burnett said she also noticed because she caught the eye of the man she saw.

"I noticed because I'm a local and people don't normally stand there," she said.

"He just looked so rough and unkempt ... that's why I didn't notice the boy. I just saw (the boy) had long hair.

"I was staring, leaning across my husband, but I didn't realise the significance of it until the next day."

Mrs Burnett said she saw information in the paper and contacted police.

She said she saw a publicised comfit drawing she believed looked like the man she had seen.

"I was overwhelmed (by the man)... it did scare me a little bit," she said.

Mrs Burnett said the man looked at least six-feet tall, wearing clothes like he had slept in them.

"Very bedraggled," she said.

Karen Brady, who was living in Nambour in 2003, said police had her hypnotised to see if she could remember the number plate of a car she saw at the overpass.

She said she mentioned to her daughters, in the car as she was driving past, that she should get the registration number but she did not see it properly.

Ms Brady said she had no memory of what happened during hypnosis.

Denise Dance, from Palmwoods, told the court she saw a boy in a bright t-shirt at the spot Daniel went missing.

 

State Coroner to release Daniel's remains to family today

The anniversary of the day Daniel Morcombe went missing nine years ago could be the day he is finally laid to rest.

The State Coroner will release the teen's remains, uncovered in Glasshouse Mountains bushland 15 months ago, to funeral directors acting for the Morcombe family.

The family had a meeting last night to begin planning a Sunshine Coast funeral in the next seven to 10 days.

Daniel's father Bruce said the day Daniel was allegedly abducted and murdered - December 7, 2003 - was definitely earmarked as a fitting day to say goodbye.

But he said it would depend on venues, priests and when family members could be available, especially those flying in from interstate.

"We've hastily had a family meeting and this is ongoing at the minute," he said last night.

"Amazingly it looks like it will happen within seven to 10 days.

"The 7th is a date for consideration. If it works it works, if it slips to the 10th that's fine too."

Mr Morcombe said the move was a "huge milestone" in the long journey the family had travelled with admirable patience.

He said there were many Australians, especially on the Sunshine Coast, who had been on that journey with them.

The Morcombes are expected to decide today whether they have a public or private funeral.

"We're still consulting with family members and talking to our boys to make sure we're comfortable with (a public service)," Mr Morcombe said.

"We want to thank the enormous community support we've had for nine years - those people who were vigilant, the people who put on orange overalls and searched, but also the many thousands of emails we've received in the nine-year period that have all wished us well.

"But we have to agree."

The shock release of the 13-year-old's remains came after his accused murderer relinquished his hold on their release in Brisbane Magistrates Court yesterday.

Brett Peter Cowan, 43, instructed his legal team he did not need them independently tested after hearing four days of scientific evidence in a committal hearing.

It is 3281 days since the Morcombe family last saw Daniel and 468 days since the first of his remains were discovered at the Glasshouse Mountains but they still have yet to lay their boy to rest.

How the drama of Daniel's release unfolded yesterday

Day three of the committal hearing against Brett Peter Cowan

Day two of the committal hearing against Brett Peter Cowan

Day one of the committal hearing against Brett Peter Cowan

Topics:  bruce and denise morcombe, daniel morcombe, funeral




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