Matthew Leveson: Search for body continues in Royal National Park outside Sydney.

By Ursula Malone and staff

Police are continuing their search for the body of missing man Matthew Leveson in the Royal National Park south of Sydney.

They have spent the past two days digging at a remote track in the park and have started up the excavator again today.

A smaller digger arrived on site this morning along with police sniffer dogs which are concentrating on a spot 40 metres from the road.

Police are quietly confident the 20-year-old’s body was buried there shortly after he went missing in September 2007.

Matthew’s father, Mark Leveson, said he shared officers’ confidence, and the family had already spent time looking for his body down the road from the current search site.

He said he and the family had found the area by “thinking like a killer” and asking themselves a series of questions:

“Where could I get my car off the road? Can I back it in? Can I get a body in the bush without being seen? Is the ground dig-able?”

Mr Leveson said his family would not give up looking for Matthew.

“The whole process has taught us patience,” he said.

“As long as it takes, that’s how long it takes.”

On Friday afternoon a white sneaker was recovered from the site and taken away by forensics officials for testing, but it remains unclear whether the shoe is connected to the cold case.

Search began after Atkins’ tip off

The search for Mr Leveson’s remains started after a tip off from his boyfriend Michael Atkins.

Mr Atkins was acquitted of Matthew’s murder and manslaughter in 2009.

Mr Leveson, 20, was last seen outside Sydney nightclub ARQ with Mr Atkins on the night he disappeared.


His body has never been found.

Mr Atkins, 53, has been helping police with their inquiries since Friday last week after being compelled to give evidence at an inquest.

The family welcomed a deal brokered by the Attorney-General’s office granting their son’s partner, Mr Atkins, immunity from perjury charges in exchange for revealing the location of Mr Leveson’s remains.

In May, deputy state coroner Elaine Truscott issued a section 61 certificate that granted Mr Atkins immunity from all criminal charges, except perjury or contempt of court, so that he could be compelled to give evidence at the coronial inquest.

That immunity means anything Mr Atkins says at the inquest cannot be used as against him in any future criminal proceedings.

In the previous week, Mr Atkins admitted to having lied on the inquest, leaving him open to perjury charges, which police have used as leverage.

Homicide detectives have since been negotiating a deal with Mr Atkins and his lawyers that would grant him immunity from prosecution on perjury charges, or lying to the coronial inquest, in return for information that leads to the recovery of Mr Leveson’s body.

His immunity from prosecution is conditional on police actually finding Mr Leveson’s remains, and was signed off with consent from Mr Leveson’s parents.

But it remains to be seen whether Mr Atkins could face other criminal charges if police do find Mr Leveson’s remains.

The search continues.

This post originally appeared on ABC News.

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