Levesons say a final goodbye to Matthew

Mark and Faye Leveson's journey for justice has been fraught with frustration and disbelief.
Mark and Faye Leveson's journey for justice has been fraught with frustration and disbelief.

Matthew Leveson's parents promised to find their son and give him a proper farewell and, after more than a decade searching for answers, they did just that.

"Today wasn't as much a funeral as it was a celebration of Matt's life, and that's what we got," Mark Leveson told AAP following the ceremony in Woronora on Friday.

"It was a wonderful, uplifting, joyous service and we all had a ball in there."

Police, members of the coroner's office and the press joined the late 20-year-old's friends and family to say their final goodbye on Friday.

Many wore purple, his favourite colour, while others shared funny memories about the exuberant boy with a big smile, along with his favourite pop songs.

Mark and Faye's emotional and exhausting journey has been fraught with suspicion, frustration, disbelief and determination.

Much of the fight took place in the public spotlight as the man they believe murdered Matt - his former boyfriend Michael Atkins - broke new legal ground.

Matt was last seen leaving Darlinghurst's ARQ nightclub with Atkins in September 2007.

Suspicion fell on the then-44-year-old Atkins, who was subsequently seen on CCTV footage buying a garden mattock and gaffer tape from a hardware shop the same day.

He was arrested in 2008 and charged with murder but ultimately acquitted by a NSW Supreme Court jury in 2009.

Years of uncertainty followed. A reward of $100,000 was offered and later increased to $250,000. Atkins continued to deny involvement as Matt's parents pleaded for information.

The case broke new legal ground when Atkins was granted immunity from contempt and perjury charges over evidence he gave at Matt's inquest on the condition he led police to the body.

For the Levesons, desperate to find their son's remains and give him the dignified burial he deserved, it was a deal with the devil.

Police searched bushland near the town of Waterfall, south of Sydney, for six months based on the information provided by Atkins.

Digging machinery ground to a halt in late May 2017 when a skeleton was uncovered beneath a cabbage-tree palm in the national park.

Mark and Faye embraced. They had found their son.

Following Matt's funeral they told reporters their chance at justice was gone, but they were at least able to return their son home when they found his remains, although there's no such thing as closure.

"Closure for us is Matt knocking on our door and saying 'sorry I haven't called' - nothing less than that standard. Today's more about moving forward," Mr Leveson said.

The coronial inquest in 2017 heard Atkins told police he found Mr Leveson's body in their bedroom after their night out and assumed he had overdosed.

Atkins said he was worried about his reputation so decided to bury Matt's body in the national park.

Deputy state coroner Elaine Truscott wasn't able to rule on a cause of death but said the lies Atkins told gave rise to "a considerable degree of suspicion".

The very mention of Atkins' name disgusts Faye Leveson. She refers to him as "it".

The Levesons relocated the palm under which Matt was found to their back yard.

His parents registered a star in his name - Matty's Piece of Heaven - which will shine down from the southern part of the Southern Cross.

"We hope you're dancing up a storm with the angels," Mark Leveson told the crowd gathered at his farewell ceremony.

Australian Associated Press