Australian man's remains found 10 years after disappearance

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Excavators at the site where police uncovered human remains in SydneyImage source, ABC
Image caption,
Police uncovered Matthew Leveson's remains in a national park

Human remains found in dense Australian bush belong to a man who went missing nearly 10 years ago, police have said.

Matthew Leveson, 20, was last seen leaving a Sydney nightclub in 2007 with his then boyfriend, Michael Atkins.

Mr Atkins was acquitted of Mr Leveson's murder in 2009. He later made a deal giving him immunity from perjury if he gave information leading to the recovery of Mr Leveson's body.

Mr Leveson's family thanked relatives after the discovery was confirmed.

Police found the remains in Sydney's Royal National Park on Wednesday after scouring the bushland three times since November. DNA confirmed it was Mr Leveson, police said on Sunday.

His parents, Faye and Mark Leveson, laid flowers at the site last week.

"We have had to fight for nine-and-a-half years to get to this day to bring our son home," Mrs Leveson told reporters.

Search over

The couple visited the Royal National Park several times during the years spent searching for their son.

"Every time we were down there, they were down there," said Detective Chief Inspector Gary Jubelin from New South Wales Police.

Under a deal struck with authorities, Mr Atkins was given indemnity from prosecution for perjury and contempt of court after he admitted lying at an inquest into Mr Leveson's death.

Former NSW director of public prosecutions Nicholas Cowdrey told the Australian Broadcasting Corp that the discovery of remains alone did not constitute "any evidence of an offence".

A coroner is yet to rule how Mr Leveson died.