After a thorough and extensive forensic search for the remains of Daniel Morcombe the area on private property was released back to the owners this morning, Commissioner Bob Atkinson said.
“Police began an exhaustive search for the remains of the teenager in an area on private property near Beerwah in mid-August this year. The Morcombe family have been consulted throughout the various stages of the search and have visited the site. We appreciate their support for those engaged in the search and their patience and understanding of associated issues,” Commissioner Atkinson said.
“During the search police and the State Emergency Service sifted by hand through 500 cubic metres of sand and searched on hand and knees to uncover items of clothing, a pair of shoes and skeletal remains.
“Some 850 State Emergency Service volunteers, 100 police recruits and police officers searched land and water areas within the search parameters, accumulating in excess of 13,000 search hours.
“Police formed partnerships with experts in the fields of hydrology, zoology, forensic anthropology, geo technicians (water channeling and soil experts), a DNA profiler, an archeologist, a forensic osteologist, a forensic pathologist and a surveyor to ensure best practice was followed during the nine week search.
“Some 45 forensic officers contributed more than 2,500 hours examining forensic material. The skeletal remains, shoes and some items of clothing located during the search are the subject of, or maybe subject to future forensic examination. As these items and the analysis results are likely to be evidentiary aspects of future court proceedings, we are not in a position to elaborate further on the specifics.
“The search area is on private property and is not accessible to the public. The owners of the property have asked for their privacy to be respected and have indicated that no access will be given to the site.”