New laws could help find Timothy Pullen's body
WHEN the deal was put, they gathered together as a family, as they always did, to decide which option would break their hearts the least.
They could push on with the murder trial - the prosecutor was ready, confident he could present a strong case.
Or they could accept an offer: agree to manslaughter and the men who killed Mackay man Timothy Pullen would take them to his body.
"I was actually never interested in revenge," Tim's mother Leanne said. "I wasn't even interested in justice. I just wanted to know where Tim was."
The Pullen family had agreed that night. They would take the deal. "It felt like we had made a deal with the devil," Leanne said.
Various people would be charged over Tim's death.
Zane Tray Lincoln, Benjamin Francis Oakley and Stephen Dale Renwick were charged with murder.
Others would be charged with manslaughter or with being an accessory. All murder charges would end up being downgraded.
Police were taken on a three-hour drive to a location where Tim's body was apparently dumped.
He wasn't there. That was June 1 last year, four years after the family lost him.
"We thought we were broken-hearted but we didn't know what broken-hearted was," Leanne said.
But now, there is new hope. A Bill introduced to Queensland Parliament will likely mean the introduction of "no body, no parole" laws - possibly within months.
The laws will mean anyone convicted of murder, manslaughter, accessory after the fact and conspiring to murder - in cases where the victim's body has never been found - will not be released until they give up the location of the remains.
And with one of the men involved in Tim's case due for release in November, it is possible the new laws could give the Pullens a fresh chance to bring him home.
"Unless (Tim's killers) really talk and make a positive attempt to find him, we may never get that opportunity.
"The sooner those laws are brought in, the better."