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Matthew's parents vow to keep searching

AAP logoAAP 17/11/2016

The heartbreaking bushland search for Matthew Leveson is over but his parents say their resolve to find their son has only been strengthened.

Detectives on Thursday ended their search for the 20-year-old's remains in bushland in the Royal National Park after spending more than a week scouring the area.

They had been led to the scrubby patch of land near Waterfall in southern Sydney by Mr Leveson's former boyfriend Michael Atkins, whose hopes of avoiding prosecution for perjury and contempt of court had rested on police finding the body.

The Queensland man was acquitted of Mr Leveson's murder in 2009.

Crime scene tape was stripped away from the search site on Thursday afternoon, but a floral tribute to Mr Leveson remained, along with a sign that read "forever in our hearts".

Investigators stressed they were not walking away from the broader search for Mr Leveson, while the young man's parents had a stark message for the man they believe killed him.

"We're now even more determined to find Matt," his father Mark Leveson said.

"So Atkins, look over your shoulder."

In the nine years since Mr Leveson's disappearance, Mr Atkins had given no indication he knew whether the missing man was dead or where his remains could be found.

Even though he told an inquest this month he did not kill his boyfriend, Mr Atkins led detectives to the potential burial site after striking a deal with Attorney-General Gabrielle Upton.

The deal gave Mr Atkins immunity from prosecution for perjury and contempt of court on the evidence he gave at the inquest on condition Mr Leveson's body was found.

Ms Upton declined to comment on Thursday after the search was called off.

The coronial inquiry into Matthew Leveson's disappearance will resume next year.

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