Mark and Faye Leveson have revealed a memorial site for their murdered son Matthew has been destroyed.
The family, who finally laid their son to rest on Friday, discovered the memorial site in Sydney’s Royal National Park was destroyed overnight. The special tree, which had been adorned with flowers, photos and special message was completely stripped bare by heartless thieves at some point on Thursday, leaving Matthew’s family and friends heartbroken.
Mark and Faye returned to the location on Thursday to lay flowers ahead of Friday’s service, but discovered the memorial had been destroyed. Angry and upset, they took to social media to vent their frustration.
“My heart is broken,” Faye wrote. “Go down to the National Park where Matty’s Memorial is to take more fresh flowers on the eve of his funeral only to it had been vandalized by everything being taken. We were only down there last Friday leaving fresh flowers and all was in place. How could someone be so low. We are just devastated.”
Mark also took to Twitter to reveal the vandals stole everything that was left for the funeral.
“Absolutely devastated,” he wrote. “The night before Matty’s funeral we visited his memorial tree in the National Park to find it vandalised. Butterflies taken, gifts taken, memorial plaques taken, fresh flowers taken. Nothing is left!”
Absolutely devastated. The night before Matty’s funeral we visited his memorial tree in the National Park to find it vandalised. Butterflies taken, gifts taken, memorial plaques taken, fresh flowers taken. Nothing is left! @RoyalNatPark pic.twitter.com/4F92YOgeCN
— Mark Leveson (@MarkLeveson) March 8, 2018
Speaking to The Australian, Mark and Faye explained that staff at The National Park know the how special the memorial site is and regularly provide them with updates so they know that it’s safe and in order. After bushfires ripped through the park last year staff even provided them with photographs of the tree to set their minds at ease.
Matty, today we finally get to celebrate your life & lay you to rest. Words can’t describe how much you mean to me or how much I love & miss you but I’ll try my best today, I know you will be next to me. Fly high my angel. ????????????#rip #matthewleveson pic.twitter.com/qg6G96OHFH
— Rachel Sanki (@RachelRSanki) March 8, 2018
The funeral went ahead on Friday afternoon, with many of Matthew’s family and friends wearing bright colours in celebration of his life.
He was last seen leaving the Arq nightclub on Oxford Street in Sydney in 2007 with partner at the time, Michael Atkins.
Atkins was acquitted in 2009 of killing Matthew. He had claimed nearly a decade that Matthew had moved to Thailand and cut off contact with his family, but after being caught lying under oath in a subsequent inquest last year, Atkins admitted to hiding Matthew’s body, and agreed to reveal its location, in return for being indemnified from prosecution.
His remains were found in the Royal National Park last May.