Coronial Inquest into the Disapearance of Daniel Morcombe. Denise and Bruce Morcombe leave Maroochydore Magistrates Court.
Coronial Inquest into the Disapearance of Daniel Morcombe. Denise and Bruce Morcombe leave Maroochydore Magistrates Court. Cade Mooney

Daniel missing for seven years

THE first Sunday of December is always a painful day for the Morcombe family.

Bruce Morcombe always finds himself looking at his watch just after lunch and reflecting on the day that changed his life forever.

His son Daniel went missing while waiting for a bus on the Nambour Connection Road at that time on December 7 seven years ago.

An inquest into his suspected abduction and murder is under way, set to resume on December 13.

"The seventh is always a painful day, but in some regards the seventh is just a date," he said.

"It is often a work day and you're consumed with other things but I find the most moving of days is the Sunday nearest to the date.

"I don't think there's ever been the first Sunday of December where you don't wonder. You can't help looking at your watch at 1-2pm."

Daniel's disappearance has remained a mystery but during a coronial inquest, the court has heard numerous versions of what allegedly happened to the 13-year-old.

Next Monday, the Morcombes will finally come face to face with some of the persons of interest.

Although this week marks the seventh anniversary since Daniel went missing, the Morcombes have a bigger task at hand.

"We have been discussing the tactics," he said.

"We're going to use the emotional family card. We're not trying to be angry. It's really about asking them to put themselves in our position, to have a bit of heart.

"These are people used to threatening situations in their life and unpleasant things on a daily basis. But we want to make them feel uncomfortable.

"That's our plan this week, to think of some questions, situations or comments that will help in that area to unsettle them."

State Coroner Michael Barnes has so far decided to call P1, P2, P5, P7, P32 and P33, some associates of P5 and an associate of P7.

"The circumstances of Daniel's disappearance have not been established despite some people with serious criminal histories claiming to know what happened to him or even admitting to themselves being involved in his abduction," Mr Barnes said.

"The investigation until now has been 'behind closed doors'.

"In my view, there are good forensic purposes to be served by calling some of the POIs and the legitimate public interest and the interests of the family are also best served by that happening."

The coroner has engaged two senior barristers and the QPS has two barristers to question the POIs.

"Both of those parties have drawn on some big guns with more experience to scrutinise what's been said at hearings and in statements," Mr Morcombe said.

"Some people have made admissions and then withdrawn them - what's that about? I don't understand why anyone would go down that path.

"There's some good material to get our teeth into that will need explaining by these POIs.

"There are curious activities and various versions which have a large question mark over them and need to be run out as far as you can."

Mr Morcombe said the family did find the horrid things people have alleged happened to Daniel difficult to process but they had resolved to stay strong throughout the process.

"A lot of the time, we think we're trying to solve a case, but it's only when you're sitting down reflecting that you actually appreciate that case is our son," he said.

"To cope, sometimes you have to build a wall, but there are situations where that wall comes crashing down and you realise what happened is still an ugly event.

"We do worry that come next April, we won't be any closer to getting answers.

"But Bob Atkinson has said to us that, while he remains Queensland Commissioner, Daniel's case will not be a cold case."

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