Denise Morcombe (left) and Bruce Morcombe with Joanne Lees.
Denise Morcombe (left) and Bruce Morcombe with Joanne Lees. Facebook Daniel Morcombe Foundat

Morcombes' new mission: Find Peter Falconio

BRUCE and Denise Morcombe are helping Joanne Lees in a renewed search for her murdered boyfriend, Peter Falconio's remains.

And the couple, who know intimately the daily heartache of wondering where their loved one is, are also supporting a fundraiser to create a memorial for Falconio on the Stuart Highway in the Northern Territory where he was last seen in July 2001.

Bradley John Murdoch was convicted of Falconia's murder and Lees's attempted abduction on December 13, 2005.

Falconio's body has never been found.

The British couple had been holidaying in Australia when the shocking crime unfolded.


Falconio pics
Peter Falconio and Joanne Lees holidaying together. Contributed

In an interview on 60 Minutes on Sunday night, Lees told how she was back in Australia and with Falconio's parents, was searching for Falconio's remains to find peace.

This is a feeling the Morcombes know only too well.

For eight long years Bruce Morcombe told the Daily the couple "walked in those shoes" when they were searching for their missing son, Daniel.

"At the end of the day that family is looking for that loved one," he said.

"We have walked in those shoes for eight years, they have walked in them for 15.

"We have met families waiting 40 plus years. It is a lifetime of heartache.

"I know from personal experience you have a conviction, you go through courts, you think you can move on.

"It doesn't put you in a healthy space. What you need is to say goodbye to that person.

"The hunt for the person responsible is not your primary aim.

"As family member, your primary aim is find your loved one. Dead or alive."


WALK FOR DANIEL: Coast remembers Daniel Morcombe on 11th annual walk. October 30,2015.
Photo Patrick Woods / Sunshine Coast Daily
Bruce and Denise at one of the walk for Daniel events in honour of their son. Patrick Woods

Mr Morcombe said supporting those left behind in relation to a missing person was one of the three aims of the Daniel Morcombe Foundation.

"When you consider, for the first eight years after (Daniel) was abducted, he was classified as a missing person until things happened in 2011.

"Throughout those years we formed a long relationship with the Australian Federal Police that continues today.

"Denise and I have been involved behind the scenes in supporting those left behind.

"Peter Falconio is exactly like that

"We have met many people, including the McCanns in England (whose daughter Madeleine disappeared in Portugal in May 2007)."


The post the Morcombes have put up for donations for a Peter Falconio memorial.
The post the Morcombes have put up for donations for a Peter Falconio memorial. Facebook Daniel Morcombe Foundat

The Morcombes spoke to Joanne Lees last year and then after various emails and correspondence, met up with her recently.

"She is a very down to earth and honest person," Mr Morcombe said.

"We compared stories, in our case the media was very helpful, her's was the opposite.

"At the end of the day we had a conversation about how the DMF, Denise and I could help in anyway."

Mr Morcombe said "without any shadow of doubt, the Falconios and Joanne are looking for Peter".

"We are facilitating and assisting with fundraising for a memorial.

"The memorial might spark a memory which could assist in the search for Falconio's remains and it would be a tribute to a young life lost too soon."

But always, the Morcombes' safety message was part of it.

"It will be a permanent memorial as a quiet reminder for people to reflect and be conscious of the dangers that exist in the wide open spaces of Australia," Mr Morcombe said.

"Every motorist, at some point, while drive past someone with their (car) bonnet up.

"The question is 'do I help that person'. I don't have that answer, you would have to assess the situation for yourself.

"Clearly dangers exist, but you would have to be wary."

The target amount for the fundraiser is $250,000.

All proceeds would go towards the building of the memorial, designed by renowned sculptor Ewen Coates.

The memorial would be a statue of a falcon, free and flying.

To support the creation of the memorial, visit the Daniel Morcombe Foundation website or Facebook page.