The remains found yesterday in the Royal National Park have been confirmed as those of missing Matthew Leveson. I didn’t know Matthew personally, but for nearly a decade I’ve followed the case, and his parents Mark and Faye never-ending quest to bring their son home to finally rest. Their never-failing hope to bring their son home has been inspiring (if that’s the right word) but has been always been followed with a sense of heartbreak. So the news that authorities think they have finally found Matthew comes as relief but also with sadness.
A lot of thoughts come to my mind. The search for Matthew should never lasted this long. His supposed killer and boyfriend at the time Michael Atkins should never have walked free. The proof was all there. However, due to mistakes made in the investigation, Atkins was acquitted of the crime. I cannot begin to wonder what the Levesons are feeling. While they must feel relief that nearly 10 years of searching has finally come to an end, what about how the criminal justice system failed their son?
It’s a flawed system, that forced the Levesons to make a deal with their “supposed” son’s killer. A deal that provided Atkins with immunity, that will likely see him not spend a day behind bars despite apparently leading police to the area where Matthew’s body was found.
It’s a system that saw Michael Atkins enjoy freedom partying in the gay scene of Brisbane for nearly 10 years while Mark and Faye endlessly searched the Royal National Park for the slightest clue that would lead to the whereabouts of their son. Yes, Mark and Faye might finally be able to lay their son to rest. But where is the real justice while Michael Atkins continues to walk free?
I guess the only consolation right now is that while Michael Atkins might be considered a free man, whenever someone sees his face they will remember Matthew Leveson’s and always question.
In the meantime we can only hope there will indeed be justice for Matthew.