The family of Lateesha Nolan finally have somewhere they can go to pay their respects after she was officially laid to rest in Dubbo earlier this year.
It has been more than 12 years and six months since Lateesha was murdered by her cousin, Malcolm Naden, and her family had undergone horrific anguish between her disappearance on January 4, 2005 and when she was given a traditional Aboriginal burial in May.
Mr Peet said the funeral was held four days before what would have been Lateesha’s 37th birthday, and was an emotional time for Lateesha’s entire family.
“We had a small funeral for her, just her family and friends, that’s what her mum wanted,” Mr Peet said.
“Lateesha’s kids, her mum and her family now have somewhere they can go and see her on special occasions.”
While he was glad the funeral closes another chapter, Mr Peet said it was wrong to suggest it was closure.
“I drove 1200 kilometres from Bundaberg to be there and as I was coming into Dubbo, it all hit me. It’s been 12 years since Lateesha was taken from us but in some ways it only feels like yesterday,” he said.
“I will never get complete closure, you get some closure but you can never forget.
“This has more or less destroyed my life. I’ve lost everything and now I just have to move on.”
While in Dubbo, Mr Peet said he camped on the bank of the Macquarie River, near where Lateesha’s remains were located in November last year.
As well as the funeral, he also attended her memorial at Sandy Beach and laid 12 blue roses, one for every year since she was murdered, as well as a birthday card.
“You never stop thinking about what happened. Even now when the phone rings, my first thought is ‘is it something to do with Lateesha?’,” he said.
“I just feel so sorry for other people who are going through similar things. I talk to people who have had someone go missing and it’s so horrible.”