Morcombe witness 'unreliable'
A WOMAN who told police she was in the car used to abduct Daniel Morcombe had such a drug-addled memory that she could not be trusted, a court has been told.
Giving evidence in the Maroochydore Coroners Court on Thursday, Detective Senior Constable Glen Elliot said a person of interest (POI) identified as P3 gave a number of versions to police about what she believed may have happened to the 13-year-old on December 7, 2003.
Daniel disappeared that day, while waiting for a bus at the Kiel Mountain Road underpass on the Sunshine Coast.
Det Elliot said P3 claimed to have travelled to the Sunshine Coast with three other men, snatched Daniel and travelled back to Brisbane with him.
However, she said she had been a heavy user of drugs at the time, and that her memory was hazy as she tried to "piece together three days of her life" from around that time.
Det Elliot said P3 also stated she had heard her friend - P2 - make references to a "thrill kill" and getting away with a perfect crime.
But she later said it was likely it was a drug-fuelled conversation about a hypothetical situation, and that she also thought she could recall him saying on another occasion that he didn't kill Daniel.
The court was told P3, however, was also adamant for some time that P2 also told her where he had buried Daniel.
"There was talk about some sort of burial site, a shallow grave, red dirt, a pine forest," Det Elliot said.
However, when police took her to the area, she was unable to identify anything that could assist with the investigation.
"She was never really clear herself as to where these locations were and she was not familiar with the area, and with regards to this process of driving around, nothing was really identified," Det Elliot said.
He said phone records and interviews with a number of relatives later placed P3 at her own home on December 7.
When questioned by Michael Nicolson, counsel representing the Queensland Police Service, Det Elliot said P3 was considered a highly unreliable POI.
"She is an unreliable witness," Mr Nicolson said.
"That's my view," Det Elliot said.
"Is there any credible or reliable information that she has provided?" Mr Nicolson asked.
"No," Det Elliot replied.
The inquest continues.
'Adoptive father snatched Daniel'
A 'PATHOLOGICAL liar' has claimed his 'adoptive father' snatched Daniel Morcombe from the Sunshine Coast, sexually abused him in a timber shed in Brisbane and then killed him.
Detective Senior Constable Virginia Gray told a coronial inquest that the man was 14 or 15 when he was “rescued from the streets” in Victoria by a 50-year-old man, who are labelled P33 and P32 respectively, and developed a sexual relationship.
“P33 and P32 are sexual partners but they indicate to the community that they are adopted father and son,” she said.
Both are persons of interest in the 13-year-old’s disappearance seven years ago at Woombye.
Witnesses describe seeing one or two scruffy looking men near a blue car. Some report seeing a white van too.
P32 was convicted interstate of soliciting a 12-year-old boy for a sexual purpose in 1980.
P33 has convictions for possessing child pornography, arson and sexually abusing his daughter.
The latter came to police attention because of information from P32. P33 is in jail over those offences.
Det Gray said police felt P33’s motive, apart from the truth, in giving police information could be as a vendetta against P32 or his attention seeking tendencies.
“He said P32 had been driving a white van and he was driving a blue car, that P32 had a conversation with a boy under the underpass and the boy got in the van with P32,” Det Gray said.
“He was saying the child got in the van voluntarily.”
Det Gray said P33 later changed his version of events saying P32 had asked him to get rope to tie up the boy’s legs while P32 held him in a bear hug.
She said P33 told her the boy was then put face down in the passenger side of the van but he was screaming and P32 told him to put something on his mouth.
Det Gray said he left in the blue car and P32 left in the white van.
She said he never saw the boy in P32’s Park Ridge home but he was driven to “a small wooden shed” in the Greenbank army reserve, in Brisbane’s south.
“He said the child was tied up in the shed and covered with a blanket,” she said.
“He said P32 sexually assaulted that child (there).”
Det Gray said the army reserve was a huge area with numerous sheds which were often moved around.
She said workers told her sheds that fitted P33’s description had burned down during a fire in the area.
Det Gray said police found two batteries at a spot in the Brisbane River where P32 claimed P33 had dumped Daniel’s body wrapped in chains and weighed down with car parts.
But she said they proved too new and appeared to be truck and boat batteries, not from a car.
Det Gray said P33 lied consistently and P32 has always denied he was involved but they could not be eliminated as persons of interest because of their access to vehicles of interest and their behavioural histories.
“He has a consistent pattern when he is contradicted, he apologises for lying, modifies that version and moves on,” she said.
“His family ... indicated a number of times he came up with stories and versions of things that were untruthful”.
- RAE WILSON