Melissa Caddick could still be alive after her decomposing foot was found inside a shoe, experts say, but that theory could soon be put to bed amid another grim discovery.
Police were called to Mollymook Beach on the NSW South Coast at about 9.30pm on Friday night after walkers found stomach flesh – which included a belly button – 150km away from where her foot was found.
DNA testing will be carried out to determine if the new remains belong to the conwoman who vanished from her home in Sydney’s eastern suburbs a day after it was raided by the Australian Securities and Investments Commission on November 11.
Speaking on The Today Show, Associate Professor of Criminology, Dr Xanthe Mallett, said because humans can survive without a foot there was a possibility that Ms Caddick could still be alive.
Police suspect the fraudster committed suicide, but Dr Mallett says until the latest remains found are confirmed to be from Ms Caddick, the idea of her being alive couldn’t be ruled out.
Human remains including what appeared to be stomach flesh and a belly button have washed ashore on a beach 150km away from where missing Sydney conwoman Melissa Caddick’s (pictured) foot was found
The decomposed foot of Melissa Caddick pictured in the shoe found by campers on the NSW South Coast on Sunday
Police were called to Mollymook Beach at about 9.30pm on Friday night and will conduct DNA testing to see if the remains belong to Melissa Caddick (pictured right with her husband Anthony on the left)
Speaking to The Today Show, Associate Professor of Criminology, Dr Xanthe Mallett, said because humans can survive without a foot there was the possibility that Ms Caddick could still be alive
‘When it was just a foot I would caution against the possibility that somebody is deceased. You can survive without your foot,’ she said.
‘Now other remains have been found that changes the picture this morning. If they are confirmed to be Melissa’s, depending on exactly what remains have been recovered, it certainly looks like she is deceased at this stage.
‘We have to wait until more information, if anything else, is found. A foot I would be skeptical.’
Detectives say they are now honing in on two theories and believe Ms Caddick, 49, may have committed suicide or was met with foul play.
Police suspect the fraudster took her own life, because she could have reached the Dover Heights clifftops – 300m from her $6.1million home – without being tracked by CCTV cameras.
On Sunday, campers found her rotting foot inside an ASICS Gel Nimbus shoe 50km north of the Bournda National Park.
The group of three teenage campers were near Tathra on Sunday when one of them found the shoe washed ashore.
When he turned the shoe upside down as he went to throw it out, he discovered there were human remains inside.
Officers have not yet been able to confirm how long the shoe had been in the water.
Police later used footage from the raid of her home – which had featured vision of her feet – to help identify her as the shoe’s owner.
Caddick has been missing for more than three months with police now suspecting she may be dead
They have said it is likely Caddick took her own life after her home was raided by the Australian Securities and Investments Commission on November 11, 2020. Pictured: Map shows the distance between where Caddick’s foot was found,where she was last seen and Friday night’s latest discovery
The 49-year-old was accused of swindling at least $20million from clients, including friends and family, before disappearing on November 12.
Days after she was reported missing, NSW Police used modelling to determine where her body might wash up if she had died in the water near her Dover Heights home.
The modelling deemed it possible that her body could have drifted as far south as Bermagui, about one hour north of Bournda.
Yesterday New South Wales Police said they believe Caddick (pictured) may have committed suicide but have not ruled out foul play
NSW Police Assistant Commissioner Mick Willing said the modelling was done in the wake of Ms Caddick’s disappearance, as crews conducted extensive land, air and sea searches.
In a sworn statement tendered at the Federal Court, and recently made public, ASIC investigator Isabella Allen alleges Caddick hit her with a barrage of questions when authorities raided her $6.2million Dover Heights mansion on November 11.
Caddick allegedly demanded answers on how she was to abide by a court order freezing her assets.
Those questions includes: When would she have to appear in court? Where would she drop off her passports? Did one order mean she couldn’t use her credit cards, because she used them for all transactions?
Caddick also asked how quickly she had to write up a description of her assets and liabilities, and asked: ‘how am I supposed to do that when you have taken my computers?’
The route from Caddick’s $6.1million home on Wallangra Road in Dover Heights (pictured) to nearby clifftops is believed to not have any CCTV cameras facing the road or street
The 49-year-old (pictured left with husband Anthony on the right) has been accused of swindling at least $20million from clients, including friends and family, before disappearing on November 12
ASIC investigator Isabella Allen alleges Caddick hit her with a barrage of questions when authorities raided her $6.2million Dover Heights mansion on November 11 (pictured is bodycam footage of the raid)
Caddick (pictured centre) is seen with her husband Anthony (pictured right), and has a 15-year-old son
The investigator replied: ‘I am unable to answer that question and it may be best that you speak to a lawyer. Do you have a lawyer?’
It is believed ASIC had been investigating her for three months before the raid.
The conwoman used investors funds to prop up a lavish lifestyle, including extravagant overseas trips and designer items.
Her victims were mostly wealthy friends, some of whom invested life savings in Caddick believing they were making returns.
When ASIC and the Australian Federal Police raided the clifftop home, they seized about $1million in couture gowns, designer clothes, handbags, shoes and jewellery.
Corporate watchdog ASIC said on Wednesday the investigation into Caddick and her company would continue as they try and return funds to investors.
‘ASIC’s priority is to seek the return of funds to investors in the most efficient way possible,’ an ASIC spokesperson said.
NSW Police Assistant Commissioner Mick Willing (pictured on Friday) confirmed remains of the missing businesswoman have been found on the NSW far south coast. Also pictured is an exhausted looking Gretchen Atkins (left), the detective who has led the investigation
If Ms Caddick is found alive, NSW police would be able to arrest the high-flying financial fraudster.
Liquidators allege the self-styled financial adviser ‘meticulously and systematically’ deceived those who entrusted millions of investment dollars to her over seven years, then used the money to fund her lavish lifestyle.
‘Melissa’s family were informed of the identification last night and are obviously distressed,’ NSW Police Assistant Commissioner Mick Willing told reporters on Friday.
‘Police have always kept an open mind in relation to what the circumstances were for her disappearance, including the fact that Melissa may have taken her own life.’
Campers found a decomposed foot and ASICS shoe washed up on Bournda Beach (pictured) on the NSW far south coast near Tathra
One of the investor victims ripped off by Ms Caddick reacted with shock when told by 2GB breakfast host Ben Fordham.
Cheryl Kraft Reid entrusted almost $1million of her superannuation with Ms Caddick, whom she considered as a friend and last heard from two months prior to her disappearance.
‘Wow, that’s a sad tragic outcome for her son but it’s also just a sad tragic outcome for us because we just don’t get closure,’ Ms Kraft Reid told the radio program.
‘Besides the news we’re unlikely to see any return of that, it’s pretty devastating.’
‘It’s not just the money, it’s the consequences of what’s happened to us and for the many years we’ve worked for zero returns because she decided to live an entitled and frivolous life.’
Melissa Caddick’s husband Anthony Koletti (pictured left with Melissa) and her family were informed of the confirmation of her remains on Thursday night