A TOP detective today vowed to find the body of a missing Huddersfield backpacker.
Det Supt Colleen Gwynne said she was determined to find Peter Falconio in Australia "for the sake of his family".
Det Supt Gwynne's comments come just over two years since the 28-year-old from Hepworth disappeared after he was held up at gunpoint in the Australian Outback.
He is believed to have been shot and killed.
His girlfriend, Joanne Lees, 29, of Almondbury, who was with him, had a terrifying ordeal in the Outback, but escaped the attacker by hiding in the bush.
Det Supt Gwynne also praised her courage and strength.
She said: "Joanne has had an extremely harrowing experience in a foreign country and she's held up remarkably. I know she's a uniquely strong woman, having met her several times."
Det Supt Gwynne visited Huddersfield last November with a team of Australian detectives to interview and liaise with the Falconio and Lees families and revealed her sympathy for both of them.
"I spent the day with them and was touched by their strength in such a difficult time," she said.
"We'd love to find Peter's body if only for their sakes."
But she said it was a tough job. The search area is over twice the size of France.
Ms Gwynne was reluctant to comment on the recent development that a clairvoyant is to be taken to the area where Mr Falconio was supposedly abducted and murdered to attempt to discover the location of his body.
An Australian author is also set to write a book hoping to help the investigation amid renewed efforts by aboriginal trackers to search for the body.
She said: "It doesn't affect us too much. My focus is on finding Peter's body, successfully convicting our prime suspect Bradley Murdoch and maintaining my loyalty to the families of both victims."
Det Supt Gwynne is confident that justice will be done.
In an exclusive interview with the Examiner, she said: "We are currently preparing a file on the prime suspect for the Department of Public Prosecutions in Darwin. We believe we have a prima facie case against him.
"I'm more than confident that we've more than enough to convict him."
Bradley John Murdoch, 45, is in custody in the neighbouring state of South Australia after being arrested in connection with the abduction and rape of a mother and her 12-year-old daughter.
Following DNA tests, police in the Northern Territory have named him as the prime suspect in Peter Falconio's disappearance and the focus of the investigation has concentrated on him.
She gave some insight into the problems the investigation has had to overcome.
She said: "It's one of the biggest investigations this country has ever conducted.
"Having investigated over such a diverse and massively remote geographical area, our main challenges were managing all the complex information and the human resource side of the search.
"It has been a nationwide effort involving other police forces and jurisdictions."
She is based in the Australian centre's capital town of Alice Springs, right in the heart of the rural and sparse Northern Territory Outback.
Bradley Murdoch's rape case is due to be heard in the South Australian capital of Adelaide on October 13 and is due to last 10 days.
Det Supt Gwynne then intends to file for his extradition to Darwin, irrespective of the Adelaide case outcome, to stand trial for Mr Falconio's murder.
"I can assure you we have more than sufficient grounds for optimism otherwise we'd never have been granted our arrest warrant," she said.