The Morcombes have shared a heartbreaking tribute to their late son Daniel, 18 years after he went missing.
The 13-year-old went missing on December 7, 2003, while on his way to buy Christmas presents for his family at a local shopping centre. In 2011, Daniel’s remains were found and Brett Peter Cowan was later convicted of his murder. Daniel’s disappearance sparked one of the largest criminal investigations in Queensland’s history.
Denise Morcombe took to Twitter to mark the anniversary of her son’s disappearance and pay tribute to their late son.
“This morning, unbelievably, it is 18 years since we last saw Daniel’s smiley face,” she wrote on Twitter.
“Daniel innocently attempted to catch a bus to the shops to do his Christmas shopping; but he didn’t make it. Daniel’s legacy lives on strongly through the work at the Daniel Morcombe Foundation.”
This morning, unbelievably, it is 18 years since we last saw Daniel’s smiley face. Daniel innocently attempted to catch a bus to the shops to do his Christmas shopping; but he didn’t make it. Daniel’s legacy lives on strongly through the work at the Daniel Morcombe Foundation. pic.twitter.com/UYGqFckHeq
— Denise Morcombe OAM (@DeniseMorcombe) December 6, 2021
Many were quick to empathise with the Morcombes and offer their support on their difficult day.
“Can’t believe it has been 18 years Denise. Daniel’s legacy is indeed living on through the great work you, Bruce and the Daniel Morcombe Foundation are doing to educate and protect children. I have no doubt many child predators’ efforts have been thwarted,” one wrote.
“That’s such a lovely message. I cannot begin to imagine how painful it would be to lose a child in this way, any way really but this would be just so heart-breaking. My thoughts are very much with and your family as I write this reply.”
“I am lost for words to adequately express the sorrow we all feel for the pain you have endured.”
“It must have been a very long, dark and rocky road and your loss will always be gut-wrenching and unimaginable. But here you are, 18 years later, inspiring millions, living life and hopefully finding light and joy again. Your family will forever be in the hearts of Australians.”
Bruce and Denise, launched the Daniel Morcombe Foundation in 2005 “to give back to the community who had supported them from the day that Daniel went missing” and to ensure Daniel’s legacy lives on. The foundation aims to educate children about personal safety and to raise awareness throughout Australia of the dangers of predatory criminals.