Daniel's disappearance was a complete mystery, to his parents and the police. We heard a lot about the case and posters of the bright eyed boy became a familiar sight around the coast. At that time I had no idea, and probably will never truly know, the heart ache that Daniel's parents, Bruce and Denise, were experiencing. This "pure and innocent boy" they had brought into the world, as a new part of them had been abducted. As the parents of this young boy the abduction had also taken away a part of themselves (www.danielmorcombe.com.au).
Bruce and Denise never gave up on the search for their son. Australians may have forgotten about him over the years. But Daniel's parents never did. They never gave up hope that the mystery would be solved and closure might come.
After moving interstate I rarely heard about the case. On occasion Daniel's parents were seen on the news pleading for witnesses to come forward or at other times they were launching child safety awareness events, including Days, Dances and Rides for Daniel. The police investigation continued. My life continued. Over the eight years Daniel was missing I became a mother of 3 boys. Bruce and Denise Morcombe had 3 boys.
Just today, eight years on, I was back on the Sunshine Coast visiting family. I was driving through the area where Daniel had been abducted and on the radio the news was announcing the DNA confirmation that bones found in the forest at Beerwah were Daniel's bones. As I continued driving along the Bruce highway and passed Beerwah, I could not help but cast my thoughts over the circumstances and the now confirmed murder of young Daniel.
What a horrific and painful journey for Bruce and Denise Morcombe, a journey that has now brought them to that place where they can finally lay their child to rest. I think of Denise, who has given birth to this boy. For 13 years she nurtured him and looked forward to him growing into adulthood. She would never once have thought that the evil in someone else's life would have taken the life of her baby. As a mother I hope that is something I do not ever have to face. As I drive, once again I pray God's protection over my children and place them in His tender care.
The exact sequence of events leading to Daniel's abduction, and his subsequent death remain unclear. In these situations many look for someone to blame. What if Daniel hadn't been waiting for the bus on Nambour Connection Road? What caused this man to find Daniel and why did it lead to his murder? So many questions surround Daniel's disappearance and there are few answers.
Bruce and Denise will never know why it happened and no answer anyone tries to give them will fill the void they feel. They have accomplished so much good from the way they have searched for their boy and many others have been given hope in their own situations because of the Morcombes. They have advocated for more protection, safety and opportunity for children. We can only hold fast to the knowledge that God knows us. He created us (Psalm 139).
Laura Veloso is wife to John and the mother of 3 young boys. She is trained in child welfare and primary school teaching and has experience in overseas missions and youth leadership.