I’d never had any dealings with the police before I went to work for them, so to say I was nervous on my first day was an understatement. More so, I was grossly unprepared for what I would hear and see. Mum will tell you that I phoned her after my first week and told her “we’ve led a very sheltered life”.
My temporary contract became a change in career and I spent the following two years working the Major Incident Room of Operation Vista - looking for Daniel. I did administrative work to start with, and later intelligence; compiling information regarding persons of interest, their criminal histories and associates.
I retired after the Big Sister was born. Late in my pregnancy, I was working alone in the MIR one afternoon, when a Scenes of Crime Officer came in to use the space to photograph a small pink jumpsuit. I still don’t know what the circumstances were; it was unrelated to Vista, but I realised I no longer had the stomach for the work. My pregnancy had changed me. I went on maternity leave and didn’t return.
When I left, the crew chipped in and bought me a pair of wine glasses, inscribed with my name and the time I’d spent working in the windowless room that was home to the investigation for so many years.
Years later, not long after David died, I had a call from a colleague. He said he couldn’t talk, but he wanted me to know before I saw it on the news - he was walking to the watch house to charge Cowan with Daniel’s murder. After I hung up the phone, I laughed and sobbed in the same breath. We were all so heavily invested in finding justice for Daniel.
A jury of his peers found Brett Peter Cowan guilty of the murder of Daniel Morcombe this afternoon. More than ten years after he abducted Daniel from a bus stop on the Nambour Connection Road.
This afternoon, I dug that farewell gift out of the cupboard and tonight I’m using them for the first time to raise a glass:
in appreciation of the men and women who worked tirelessly in the pursuit of Daniel’s abductor.
in appreciation of their families and acknowledging the sacrifices they made, especially early in the investigation - the kid’s soccer matches, birthday dinners, anniversaries missed.
in appreciation of the the Morecombe family and their devotion to child safety since Daniel’s murder and for the dignity in which they have conducted themselves.
You can read more about the Daniel Morcombe Foundation and their child safety work on their website and more about my time with the QPS here.
Well said. They never gave up.
Merilyn Cootes says
Well said, Amanda. I remember you telling us that you worked on Daniels case and your words above describe how you feel beautifully. Justice has been done today for Daniels family and all of the people associated with his case for so many years. Enjoy that glass of wine in his memory.
Desire Empire says
Beautiful post Amanda. Good on all of you and vale Daniel. A trail blazer for sure.
The pink suit bit just have me the shivers!! Enjoy that wine and what a fantastic day it is that justice has at last been served!! Great post hon xx
Enjoy that drink bella. In memory of Daniel, his wonderful family and all those that helped bring this horrible case to a close.
Beautiful Amanda. I can't imagine how awful that kind of work must be - well I can imagine, but I'm sure it's a thousand or more times worse than anything I could imagine. I am so glad that jury did it's job today, and now I hope the judge does hers. Cheers to Daniel, may he be resting in peace and may his parents find some kind of peace through this heinous and heart breaking crime. 🙁
Racci Page says
Beautifully said....enjoy that red in honour of all those who helped bring justice for Daniel and his courageous family.
Emily @ Have A Laugh On Me says
Must be a bittersweet moment for you lovely. And yes, until I started working as a journo and was privy to all that went on from my police 'mates' I had live a very sheltered life. Sadly I'm a bit hardened to a lot of stuff, but not death, nothing ever hardens you to that. Enjoy that red lovely, and you did your bit, no matter how tiny, to help too so cheers to you. Most importantly I am happy that justice has been done xx
I thought of you as soon as I heard the news today....everyone involved in this case should be have a wee drink tonight. At long last...the end!
Sarah @ Slapdash Mama says
My God. I had no idea. I had a drink tonight for Daniel too and now it is also for you and all your colleagues. I don't really know what to think but I am glad his parents have closure. Whatever that means.
Living on the Sunshine Coast, we've felt the impact of Daniel's story. It heartens me that we have so many amazing people working in the police force and justice system - their tenacity and compassion is truly extraordinary.
Mrs BC says
Amanda I had no idea you where involved with this case or even that you worked for the police! Someone mentioned tonight on facebook what a tremendously good job the police had done solving this case and bringing Daniels killer to justice, and that it had restored their faith in the Police. There is nothing good about any of this heinous killing, but you should hold your head up proudly in the knowledge that you and the rest of the force have done such a wonderful job.
So much has already been said about this truly awful case. Anyhow congratulations to your colleagues - they've made the world a little safer. I have nothing but respect for the Morcombe family who have channeled their grief and pain into helping others. I hope that they can find some kind of peace now.
The morcombes have managed to get something good to come out of an horrendous event. They have given me (and I'm sure many others) an awareness and a way to talk to our kids and to make sure they know who they can safely go to if they need help. I can't begin to imagine what people involved in the investigation have had to deal with but I am grateful to each and every one for the role they played. What you wrote is beautiful xx
Kate Morell (@fromkatietokate) says
Reading about the case today, I wondered about those behind the scenes, who knew the full story, how hard it must have been, and, it is no wonder they pushed on until they got a conviction. Such a shocking story. Such a relief to know they have succeeded with a conviction.
Sandie @ AppleBee Lane says
Thank goodness the Morcombe family finally has justice.
Deb - An Inspirational Journey says
Wow, that's amazing! I'm from NZ so not familiar with the case but well done on all the work you did. That's something you can be so proud of x x x
Oh mi, that's brought tears to my eyes, Amanda. Thank god for those who care enough to never, ever give up. x
Sonia Life Love Hiccups says
Oh wow..... and cheers to you beautiful for your part in bringing justice for that poor boys family. xx
Miss Chardy says
Wow, I learn something new about you everyday. That is amazing.
Peachy Keen Mumma - Jess says
I got goosebumps reading this. What an incredible story. I'm so thankful for justice to prevail in the end.