National

Morcombes look at final chapter as shoes linked to Daniel

THE Morcombes are finally able to think about planning a funeral for their son Daniel, eight years after he disappeared.

Police have confirmed shoes found at the Sunshine Coast search site are the same brand, Globe, as the schoolboy was wearing when he disappeared in 2003.

The Deputy Commissioner of Queensland Police, Ross Barnett, told reporters the shoes found last week were consistent with Daniel's footwear, although forensic tests were incomplete.

He said the testing of three human bones found on Sunday was likely to take weeks rather than days.

Police later suspended the search because of bad weather. They are guarding the area while the search is delayed. Mr Barnett was hopeful more evidence would be found at the site.

Authorities would do "whatever it takes" to have the forensic examination completed as quickly and professionally as possible, but would not rush the work, he said.

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Daniel's parents were in Melbourne on Sunday for a family birthday when they were told of the discovery of the bones.

Daniel's father, Bruce Morcombe, said it was hard to contain the emotion: ''Now we are thinking, 'Is this going to be the final chapter?'

''Certainly the significance of the find is not lost on the family. We were choked with emotion. ''We are really hopeful it is him.''

Mr Morcombe spoke of the four ''monumental'' phone calls he has received in the past eight days - an arrest in the case, the discoveries of the first and second shoes, and the discovery of three bones.

A DNA analysis of the three bones will be compared with Daniel's DNA profile, which was created immediately after his disappearance from items including his clothes and shoes.

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