The search for Matthew Leveson‘s body has been called off after an eight-day hunt.
Detectives called off the search on Thursday afternoon after being unable to find the 20-year-old’s remains in the Royal National Park.
They were led to the site near Waterfall last week by Leveson’s former boyfriend Michael Atkins, who was acquitted of Leveson’s murder two years after his 2007 disappearance.
Despite not being able to find his body, Inspector Gary Jubelin insisted police were not abandoning their efforts. He also paid tribute to Leveson’s family, saying the search had “been difficult for them, and it’s been a privilege to work with them on this investigation.”
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Matthew’s father Mark Leveson told reporters that they weren’t giving up hope, either.
“Although this is no result here I’ve got to say what this does is only strengthen our resolve,” he said. “We’re even more determined to find Matt. So Atkins, look over your shoulder.”
Levenson was last seen in 2007, caught on CCTV coming out of ARQ Nightclub in Darlinghurst with Atkins.
Atkins was tried and acquitted of Leveson’s murder and manslaughter in 2009.