Memorial to be held for missing dad Paul Stevenson
MORE than four years after Paul Stevenson went for an early morning motorbike ride and never came home, his family and friends will today come together to celebrate his life in a special ceremony.
Despite an extensive police investigation and an ongoing search by the Bundaberg man's family - which involved exploring every avenue imaginable - there is still no definitive explanation for what happened on Sunday, March 11, 2012.
The motorbike Mr Stevenson was riding was found days later down an embankment on Gin Gin-Mt Perry Rd.
But his phone and bank accounts have never been accessed and Mr Stevenson's family still don't have the answers they desperately seek.
But they now have his death certificate - after it was issued by the coroner last month.
For Nikki Stevenson, who has welcomed two daughters since her dad disappeared - granddaughters Paul never met - the coroner's ruling brings some parts of this baffling case to a conclusion, but it will never stop her seeking the truth.
"Still to this day we have not had any leads ... there's just been nothing, despite looking with police and then doing separate searches ourselves," she said.
"So basically we're still at the same spot four years later, the only difference is we have received a coroners report.
"In that coroners report obviously they couldn't give us what had happened because no one knows. They can't give us what's happened with death ... so the death's unknown, but we do have a death certificate.
"We've decided to hold a celebration of life. It's more along the lines of a memorial than a funeral.
"Basically this is to say 'see you later' and give dad the time he needed to be remembered for the person he was. He was such a wonderful person and so many people knew him and loved him for that reason."
Miss Stevenson said the coroners report involved a checklist which showed none of Mr Stevenson's cards, bank accounts, licences or Medicare had ever been used.
Airport records were checked across the country but with no reports to Crime Stoppers, no leads and no flags in any system, the coroner issued the death certificate.
"It sort of felt final when it first came in the mail," Miss Stevenson said.
"But then you had to sit back and realise it's more there to help with the things that you need in death. To remove dad's name off certain things. For mum (Julie) to be able to move forward, we needed that.
"Mum's been struggling. Normally your insurance would cover things. But mum's had to stumble her way through, financially, emotionally, grieving. It's been quite tough.
"But it's definitely not given us any answers at all. It's still red raw and still in our minds. We'll always be asking the same questions ... we'll always be searching."
Today's ceremony to celebrate Mr Stevenson's life will be held at 2pm at the Chapel of Des Allen & Co Funerals, 7 Phoebe Cres. Anyone who wants to attend is welcome.