DIGNITY – Daniel Morcombe deserves it.
Brave parents Bruce and Denise desperately need it, not just for them but for Daniel's twin brother, Bradley, and oldest sibling, Dean.
Outside their Palmwoods home, Mrs Morcombe was shaking continuously as tears welled in her eyes.
She did not want to be there, little more than 12 hours after the arrest of her son's accused murderer.
Under her husband's protective arm, Mrs Morcombe said Daniel needed to be buried with dignity.
“He deserves that,” Mr Morcombe said.
“So do his brothers,” Mrs Morcombe added.
As police searched through thick scrub under the shadow of Mt Tibrogargan yesterday, the Morcombes revealed just how unprepared they were for the shock arrest of a man on Saturday.
The news has shattered the family, bringing to the surface seven years and eight months of pain since Daniel disappeared on December 7, 2003.
The priority for the Morcombes now lies in finding their son's remains.
Privately, police have assured the family they will search until they can return Daniel to his family.
“What we want to do is find Danny,” Mr Morcombe said.
He said Daniel's brothers had been quiet since learning of Saturday's arrest.
“We just hope that they put some of the events of the last couple of days behind them.
“It does bring almost eight years of thoughts and discussions and theories to the forefront.
“I'm sure they're weighing up all of the difficult times as well.”
The Morcombes have looked at the man accused of abducting Daniel from under the Kiel Mountain Rd Overpass on that fateful December day. They see little point in being in court today.
“I'm not sure there's necessarily anything really to gain from that, other than it being extremely upsetting to us,” Mr Morcombe said.
“We know who it is; we know what he looks like.
“We've given him the glare.''
The Morcombes said they never lost hope that the last piece of the puzzle would fall into place.
But the gravity of the news came as a shock.
“We've said right from day one: the person that's responsible picked the wrong family,” Mr Morcombe said.
“We said we'd never give up.
“We were true to our word.”
Daniel will forever be the 13-year-old boy in the red shirt with big blue eyes. He will never age past the day he disappeared.
His parents say Daniel's legacy will be the foundation that bears his name.
“Daniel's legacy will be that many, many other kids will be safe from predators,” Mr Morcombe said. “That is something positive that will come out of this very sad affair.”
Their work through the Daniel Morcombe Foundation will forge ahead, with the intention to continue with the planned road trip from Brisbane to Cairns spreading the message of child safety.
“It's just something the family want to do to make sure other kids never find themselves in Danny's situation,” Mr Morcombe said.
“We think we're doing the right thing by Daniel and that's what he will be remembered by, as making a difference.”
There were calls for people to wear red today as a show of strength and unity for Daniel and his family.
“I think it would illustrate that Daniel's not forgotten,” Mr Morcombe said.
“So many people are willing us on. And we really appreciate that.”
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