Daniel Morcombe’s accused killer, Brett Peter Cowan, didn’t account for his movements in a half-hour period on the day the Sunshine Coast teen disappeared.
The man accused of killing Daniel Morcombe was unable to account for his movements during a half-hour period on the afternoon the teen vanished, a court has heard.
During a 2005 police interview played to the jury at his trial, Brett Peter Cowan also said he drove past the spot where Daniel was last seen around the time he disappeared.
Cowan denied seeing anybody on the side of the road, despite multiple witnesses seeing a boy in a red T-shirt.
But the accused man did concede during the interview that he looked like a comfit image of a suspect that had been released to the public, and said he probably wouldn’t tell police if he had abducted Daniel.
The Brisbane Supreme Court heard Cowan was interviewed for a second time 18 months after Daniel vanished from an unofficial bus stop under the Kiel Mountain Road overpass some time after 2pm on December 7, 2003.
During the interview, Cowan agreed with police that his phone records showed he had probably left his Beerwah home for a 90-minute round trip to pick up a mulcher about 1pm.
Cowan agreed he would have passed the Kiel Mountain Road underpass on his return journey about five minutes past 2pm and arrived home about 2.30pm.
“I didn’t see anybody or any cars or anything there,” Cowan replied.
“Not that I was really paying attention to anything like that, but no.”
Detective Senior Constable Mark Wright replied that Cowan’s wife had thought he’d arrived home at 3pm and police wanted to narrow down a “bit of a gap in time” in Cowan’s version to give it more credibility.
“That period of time is the money time for us, because someone has taken that child in that time and we’ve got you in the area,” Det Sen Const Wright said.
“Anything could have happened within half an hour and … we only have your word to say that that you went a certain way home.”
Cowan replied that traffic cameras on the roads were the only way to clarify it.
A Department of Main Roads staffer has previously told the court none of the relevant cameras were recording at the time.
Cowan was asked whether he thought he looked anything like police comfit images of suspects that had been shown on TV.
“I thought one of them,” Cowan replied, laughing.
“One of them actually looks more like my brother than looks like me.”
He told police his brother wasn’t on the Sunshine Coast at the time.
“If you had have abducted Daniel, would you tell me?” Detective Sergeant Tracey Barnes said in wrapping up the interview.
“Probably not,” Cowan replied after a pause.
The trial also heard that the tread marks on Cowan’s white 4WD didn’t match tyre marks that were found at the unofficial bus stop.
Multiple witnesses have described a blue sedan parked at the underpass near a boy matching Daniel’s description and up to two men.
Police scientific officer Sergeant Nicole Tysoe said no blood or forensic evidence was found in the 4WD, but she didn’t expect there to be any if somebody had been sitting voluntarily in the front seat.
The trial continues.