Mother of Daniel O’Keeffe says the police didn’t look hard enough for her son

Australia was shocked when earlier this year, missing 24-year-old Daniel O’Keeffe’s father found his remains under the family home. Why?
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Australia was shocked when earlier this year, missing 24-year-old Daniel O’Keeffe’s father found his remains under the family home.

Why? How? What happened? were all questions we were asking, but none more so than the mother of Dan, who says the police could’ve found him much earlier if they deemed the case important enough.

All of the searching for Dan was done by the family over the last 5 years, and his sister Loren even gave up her job so she could find her younger brother. Sadly, the end of this story isn’t a happy one, and none of us can fathom what it would feel like to know your child or sibling was under your home the whole time you were searching for him.

“In my deep heart of hearts as a mother, I knew that Dan would probably never be coming home,” Lori told Fairfax Media. “But until I had evidence otherwise, there’s always that grain of hope that keeps you going.

“That grain of hope is gone now and we just have to learn to live our lives without Dan being in it. Which is not easy because he really was the most beautiful boy.”

Lori and her daughter Loren have now come out and said they’re not happy with police response to Dan’s disappearance.

“There’s a lot of disappointment, from day one,” says his sister Loren. “It was very clear from the beginning that Dan was not the priority for them.”

A request to the SES for help was not granted, they say, while a letter to then emergency services minister Peter Ryan also went unanswered.

They believe had police used a search dog or tracked his phone they would have found Dan in “20 minutes” – he was found in a cavity down the side of the house.

“In a way I feel cheated that my last act as mother was taken away from me,” says Lori. “If Dan had been found on the day I would have been able to hold him and say goodbye.”

She said the police have not been upfront with the family about the search and what’s more confusing is that there is a large coroner file.

“We would be very interested to see that file, it’s supposed to be thousands of pages. We’ve heard nothing,” says Lori.

“A few people have asked me that question, ‘oh you must be feeling better now that you’ve found Dan, you’ve got closure’. And I thought ‘no, there’s no such thing as closure’. Closure would be Dan being back home with us”.

What do you think? Should the police have been more involved ala the Daniel Morcombe case?

  1. Dianne Evans  

    So sad so many young men and women end up taking their lives. I think this government is so wrong too cut mental health as there is not enough to begin with.

  2. Donna  

    I m not sure why they’re blaming the police.. i want to know why they didn’t smell the body under their house?

    • Marguerite Brewster  

      Also how did he end up in the cavity !!! All seems a bit wierd

    • Anne  

      Donna, as a close friend of the family I can tell you that there was no intent of ‘blaming’ the police. Early on in Dan’s disappearance the family pleaded for a professional search of the property, the SES were happy to do this, but the police would not give permission. So the family conducted their own non professional search. Yes it is possible that had police conducted a search they may still have not have found Dan. This issue only arose recently because police stated to the media that they had conducted an “extensive search of the property” which is not true.
      Other questions no doubt will be answered by the Coroner’s Inquest. The family at all times has been honest and upfront with their information and have nothing to hide. I hope this answers your query.

  3. Michelle  

    The probable reason for ‘lots of pages’ on this case is there’s just something not right about it.

    How can people be in a house, & NOT smell a rotting corpse? You can smell a dead rat or possum in the ceiling, so why not a body under the house?

    They obviously didn’t search their OWN house well enough. They were more familiar with it than the Police. Bu they’re trying to put the blame elsewhere. Hmmm!

    Don’t like the way they’re blaming the Police for inaction.
    Feelings of guilt, in not finding son, themselves maybe?
    People always know much more than they let on.

    There’s more to this story than meets the eye. Most bizarre situation, to say the least.

    Case in point, just look at the recent possible developments, this week, in the Sharron Phillips disappearance.

    You never know.

  4. Unice Smith  

    To have to lose and bury your child is the hardest thing a parent ever has to do but not knowing what has happened is even a site harder you always have question, Why? What is? There is no answer they only thing you can do is be there and listen to the people involved saying to them it will get easier is wrong nothing on this earth makes it easier you go forward and put one foot in front of each other and take little steps some where some time you will look back and be amazed at how far you have got, But yo never, never forget

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