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Brett Peter Cowan admitted killing Daniel Morcombe: prosecutor

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Cowan 'confessed' to Morcombe murder

An "elaborate" undercover police operation saw Brett Peter Cowan allegedly confess to Daniel Morcombe's murder and show officers where he left the body, but he "never got to molest him".

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The man accused of murdering Sunshine Coast teenager Daniel Morcombe confessed to the crime after being netted in an undercover police operation, a court has been told.

The trial of the accused, 44-year-old Brett Peter Cowan, began in Brisbane’s Supreme Court on Tuesday after the jury was selected on Monday.

In his opening statement, Crown prosecutor Michael Byrne QC told the jury Mr Cowan told "new-found friends" in 2011, some eight years after Daniel disappeared, that he killed the 13-year-old schoolboy.

Brett Peter Cowan listens to evidence in Brisbane's Supreme Court.

Brett Peter Cowan listens to evidence in Brisbane's Supreme Court. Photo: Nine News

"He took these people and showed them where he’d left the body," Mr Byrne said.

"His so-called new found friends were in fact undercover police officers."

Murdered schoolboy Daniel Morcombe.

Murdered schoolboy Daniel Morcombe. Photo: Supplied

Mr Byrne said Mr Cowan had provided a "complete confession" to the charges against him.

Mr Cowan is charged with one count each of murder, indecently dealing with a child under the age of 16 and unlawfully dealing with a corpse.

He has pleaded not guilty to all charges.

Bruce and Denise Morcombe speak to media as they enter day 1 of the trial for the man accused of killing Daniel Morcombe.

Bruce and Denise Morcombe speak to media as they enter day 1 of the trial for the man accused of killing Daniel Morcombe. Photo: Harrison Saragossi

Daniel disappeared from a bus stop under the Kiel Mountain Road overpass on the Sunshine Coast sometime between 2pm and 2.15pm on December 7, 2003, the court heard.

"He was dead a short time later, almost certainly within an hour," Mr Byrne said.

The court will hear from a number of witnesses who saw a boy, matching Daniel’s description, standing under the overpass, Mr Byrne said.

Assistant police commissioner Mike Condon speaks to media outside the supreme court after Brett Peter Cowan was found guilty. Click for more photos

Brett Peter Cowan's trial for Daniel Morcombe's murder

The Morcombe family arrives for the trial of the man accused of killing their son Daniel. Photo: Harrison Saragossi

He also said a number of witnesses would recall seeing a blue car stopped nearby.

"There was at least one blue car near ... the area of the overpass," he said.

"But our case does deny that the occupant or occupants of those cars had any material role in the abduction and murder of Daniel Morcombe."

The trial, which has been set down for six weeks, will hear from up to 158 witnesses, including bus drivers, students, retirees and a zoologist.

The covert police operatives from Western Australia, known only as numbers 452, 483 and 392, are also included in the list of potential witnesses.

The trial continues.

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