Denise 'still numb' over Daniel
DENISE Morcombe says she is still numb from the news that DNA tests had confirmed remains found near Beerwah are those of her son Daniel.
Her husband Bruce described the call from Police Commissioner Bob Atkinson on Saturday morning as like "waiting for a sledgehammer to hit you".
Mrs Morcombe told a packed media conference in Maroochydore today that the family was determined to give Daniel a proper funeral.
"All of Daniel's remains have to be found and then we can start planning a funeral," she said.
"We said we'd never give up and we proved it. It was because of everyone."
They may have to wait months before they can hold the funeral.
Mr Morcombe said they were thinking of holding it on December 7 - the anniversary of Daniel's disappearance - but were prepared to wait until next year if they had to.
Mrs Morcombe said the family would "just take one day at a time".
"Probably numb, probably still am a bit numb," she said of her reaction to the DNA test match.
The couple were joined by Mr Atkinson as they shared the pain outside the Daniel Morcombe Foundation.
After seven years and nine months searching for answers after their 13-year-old went missing while waiting for a bus on the Nambour Connection Road, they now know his final resting place.
Today is Mr Morcombe's eighth birthday without Daniel and this Sunday will be his eighth Father's Day without him.
But he said discovering Daniel's remains was a "monumental" step in the healing process.
"What is grief? This is relief ," he said with his usual stoic face.
"Each link in the chain from the police to the SES and a whole stack of ordinary Australians, the media, have all contributed to where we are today.
"We don't focus on anger, we don't focus on the court case or the person been charged, our focus has always been on finding Daniel."
Mrs Morcombe added: "It's everyone's strength that's got us through the seven and a half years and you'll help us get through the rest of this."
She said the site where Daniel was found was "like hell" and rejected any suggestion of a memorial at the site.
Daniel's mother said she hoped to keep the memorial at the site where Daniel went missing.
Mrs Morcombe said it was difficult to watch her other sons, Daniel's twin brother Bradley, 21, and Dean, 23 as they visited the search site where Daniel's remains were found.
"Just watching the boys' faces was heartbreaking really," Mrs Morcombe said.
"They just stood there and just stared."
Queensland police commissioner Bob Atkinson said he was "enormously grateful" to the community for their support, the media for keeping the case in the public's minds for "years and years" and his own police force for the work they had done.
He reminded everyone that people are presumed innocent until proven guilty in Australia's justice system and asked people to be patient as that process unfolded.
"I would hope if we have fine weather we will conclude (the search) at the outside within three months," he said.
"As long as it takes."
The Morcombes said they would continue their work with the foundation and a planned to trip to Cairns for Child Protection Week next week.