Matthew Leveson's parents have issued an emotional plea for changes to state laws after NSW Police confirmed the discovery of bones believed to be their son's at Sydney's Royal National Park on Thursday.
"They painted us into a corner, they painted us into making a decision to bring our son home and for the killer to walk free and we'd do it in a heartbeat to get him back but our laws have got to change, the victims have got to have a voice," Matthew's mother, Faye Leveson told media.
"We've had to fight for nine-and-a-half years to get to this day to bring our son home so our other two surviving sons didn't have to go through the rest of their lives if we passed and we hadn't found Matty.
"That person, [Michael] Atkins, he could've finished this nine-and-a-half years ago, but he didn't he chose to hide, to hide in Queensland and let our family suffer."
Mark Leveson also sent messages directly to the jurors who participated in the court case that saw Matthew's boyfriend Michael Atkins tried and acquitted of the 20-year-old's murder in 2009.
"If any of the jurors on Matthew's trial see this, what the hell are you thinking? Look at what you've done to us. This you couldv'e sold years ago yourselves.
"And lastly Michael Atkins, to you, you are no longer of any use to our family alive."
Leveson's boyfriend Michael Atkins directed police to the search area during a NSW coronial inquest last year. The area had been previously searched in November last year and again in January, to no avail.
He did not stand in the witness box at his own trial and police tapes of interviews with him were ruled as inadmissible evidence, because police at the time had not informed him he was a suspect, according to the ABC.
Atkins had been compelled to give evidence at the inquest, with the caveat that any evidence given could not be used in any future court proceedings against him. This means it is unlikely he will face any further charges over Leveson's death, even if the identity of the remains return a positive match.
The comments come after Detective Chief Inspector Gary Jubelin of the NSW Police confirmed authorities understand "a human skeleton" found at the search location on Wednesday "to be the remains of Matthew Leveson".
"Yesterday afternoon at 2:30pm, we located what we believe to be human remains. We've now carried out extensive forensic examinations of those remains. It's a human skeleton, we believe the remains are that of Matthew Leveson," he said.
"I cant say that with one hundred percent confidence until we get the forensic examinations carried out but the circumstances in which we've found these remains lead us to believe that they are Matthew Leveson's.
"It's been a long journey for the family in their efforts to find their son and hopefully this will bring them some relief."
Mark and Faye Leveson have searched tirelessly for their son since his disappearance in September 2007. They said they were "stunned, shocked and relieved" that the search for "Matty" appeared to finally be over.
Faye said they had never given up hope they would find their son.
"We made a promise and we kept it and now we can lay him to rest if it turns out to be Matt. And our boys won't have to go though their lives looking for their brother," she said.
The Cronulla man was last seen leaving the ARQ nightclub with his boyfriend Michael Atkins in Sydney's Darlinghurst.
Police were just an hour away from calling off their search efforts in Waterfall on Wednesday -- the last day of the search -- when the excavator digging the search area came to a sudden halt at 2:30pm.
The driver had spotted bones.
On Wednesday, Jubelin said he was "very confident" that the remains were those of Matthew Leveson.
"They said, 'We think we've found Matt. We are not certain but we think that we may have found him'," Leveson's father Mark said.
"We were then able to go across and pay our respects.
"Our goal was to bring Matt home and lay him to rest, and hopefully we can do that."
ALSO ON HUFFPOST AUSTRALIA
LaySuggest a correction