6.30PM UPDATE:  POLICE say it could take days before any traces of Sunshine Coast teenager Daniel Morcombe are found.

 Queensland's leading forensic pathologist this afternoon arrived at the scene where police and SES volunteers are searching for Daniel Morcombe's body.

Professor Peter Ellis was seen entering the crime scene near the Glasshouse Mountains about 3.30pm.

Prof Ellis, who is based at Nambour, was one of six experts flown to Port Moresby to identify the people killed in the 2009 Kokoda plane crash.

He was also involved in identifying victims of the Bali bombings and the 2004 Asian tsunami.

More than 50 police and SES are searching thick, swampy terrain off the highway in the Glasshouse Mountains.

Light rain will further hinder the search, which is behind a macadamia farm on Kings Rd.

Police are guarding a crime scene, warding the public and media away from the search area.

A police spokeswoman said the main search area was hard to reach and some parts were underwater.

She said no earth-moving equipment had been used yet.

"At the moment everything is being done by hand," she said.

"It is very difficult."

Police said the search would be scaled up even further tomorrow.

Earlier, a clearly shaken Denise Morcombe said outside their Palmwoods home on the Sunshine Coast that her priority was in finding Daniel's body.

Mrs Morcombe said Daniel must be properly put to rest.

``He needs to be buried with dignity,'' she said.

"We are reassured that the police service is very hard nosed in finding Daniel and returning his remains to the family,'' Mr Morcombe said.

Today, detectives, crime squad officers, water police and SES volunteers are scouring just off the Bruce Highway.

It is understood the area has been flooded in the past, making the search more difficult.

Bruce and Denise told a packed media conference they had been waiting almost eight years for the day someone would be charged.

``It came as quiet a shock yesterday afternoon,'' Mr Morcombe said.

``It's a very difficult place Denise and I and the family find ourselves in.

``It's a place you don't want to be in.

``It's an extremely difficult time and last night was not pleasant at all.''

Mr Morcombe said he did not plan to attend tomorrow's court hearing as he had already seen the accused man at an earlier inquest.

"`We know who he is, what he looks like and we've already given him the glare and I'm not sure we can do much more,'' Mr Morcombe said.

He stressed there was a long way to go in the case and the last thing they wanted to do was say anything that would jeopardise the proceedings.

``We're only half way there. We still have to find Daniel and that is the focus for us - to find Daniel.''

The Morcombes said they would make a private decision later on whether to go to the search site.

Police have promised to provide vision to the Morcombes of the area being investigated.

Last night a dirt rural road was being guarded by police.

"There is still a lot of work to do,'' Mr Morcombe said of the legal proceedings.

"It may still be a couple of years before this matter is run out.''

Mr Morcombe said he believed the recent coronial inquest was crucial in bringing new evidence to light.

"There has been an enormous amount of work in the four months since that person gave evidence,'' he added.

While police had been thwarted by false leads from criminal element he said leads from the public had been welcomed.

"The public have been absolutely extraordinary.

"We are really appreciative of the work of the police but also the media in keeping this at the forefront.'

"We have never given up hope.

"We have always said that 'today's the day that we find information.''

He downplayed suggestions that the breakthrough would not have come without his family's efforts.

"I like to think that it has been a team effort.'

"We have said right from day one the person responsible has picked on the wrong family.

"The media have been terrific they have never given up.''

Mr Morcombe said he and Denise were determined to keep the Daniel Morcombe Foundation going.

"In just three weeks time it is Child Protection Week around Australia.

"We had organised a trip from Brisbane to Cairns to talk to some 20 schools.

'We still plan to continue that trip.

"Daniel's legacy will be that many, many other kids will be safe from predators and that is something positive that will come out of this very sad affair.''

The gutsy couple also called on state and federal governments to get behind their campaign with funding, saying it had been totally reliant on the community.

The Morcombes also expressed support for a plan for Queenslanders to wear red tomorrow as a show of support for their family.

Mr Morcombe said they wanted to front the media to say a personal thanks for the ongoing support they had given in keeping the case before the public.

After the news conference several key media identities hugged Denise and Bruce after sharing much of their journey of almost eight years with them.

Police search bushland for clues

Kings Road, off the Bruce Highway, at Glasshouse Mountains last night. Picture: Jason Dougherty

POLICE have resumed searching bushland for the body of Daniel Morcombe after charging a man with the teenager's abduction and murder.

Police announced the major breakthrough at 7.25pm yesterday, saying a 41-year-old man had been charged with murder, deprivation of liberty, child stealing, indecent treatment of a child under 16 and interfering with a corpse.

The man was arrested yesterday and will appear in Brisbane Magistrates Court tomorrow.

Daniel's parents, Bruce and Denise Morcombe, were told of the news about two hours before police made the information public.

Denise was shattered by the final realisation that her son was not coming home, something she had dreaded since the day almost eight years ago he first disappeared.

After being swamped by messages on the Daniel Morcombe Foundation Facebook page, she wrote: "Thanks but I am sad tonight please give me a few days D.''

Mr Morcombe thanked the people who had supported the family since Daniel disappeared as he waited for a bus on Nambour Connection Rd on December 7, 2003.

“The family is really pleased,” he said, while thanking the police, media and supporters for their help over the years.

He said they would try to prepare a statement for this morning.

“Tonight is just about thanking people and recognising that there has been somebody charged.”

He appeared to be hopeful that Daniel's remains would be found.

“We've still got some work of ahead of us, but with any luck we'll find Danny wherever he may be,” he said.

Police Commissioner Bob Atkinson said the charges did not signal the end of the largest ever missing person investigation in Queensland history, which saw 10,000 people interviewed and thousands of pieces of evidence compiled.

Despite the breakthrough, “a significant amount of work” remained to be done, which included finding Daniel's remains.

It is understood police started a fresh search of Coast bushland in the past week.

A team of 12 full-time detectives has focused on the investigation in recent months.

Mr Atkinson and Deputy Commissioner Ross Barnett told a media conference they would not comment on the investigation or the arrest.

“This is obviously a very significant milestone in what has been a complex and protracted investigation,” Mr Barnett said.

Mr Atkinson thanked the Morcombe family for “their courage, their patience and their resolve”.

 

CHARGES SUSPECT FACES:

  • Murder
  • Deprivation of liberty
  • Child stealing
  • Indecent treatment of a child under 16
  • Interfering with a corpse


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