Expert’s wild Melissa Caddick theory
A criminology expert has made a wild claim about the disappearance of an accused Sydney conwoman, saying people shouldn't rule out the possibility she could be alive - despite her foot washing up on a beach.
On Friday, police announced the remains of Melissa Caddick, the 49-year-old accused of stealing millions of dollars from investors, had been discovered on NSW's south coast.
The grisly discovery was made by a group of campers who found the remains of a foot inside a shoe that had washed up on Bournda Beach, south of Tathra.
DNA from the foot matched samples taken from Ms Caddick's toothbrush and family members.
However, Associate Professor of Criminology, Dr Xanthe Mallett, claimed the discovery doesn't necessarily mean Ms Caddick is dead.
"When it was just a foot I would caution against the possibility that somebody is deceased. You can survive without your foot," she told Weekend Today.
More human remains have since been discovered on a beach about 150km away from where Ms Caddick's foot was found.
Beach walkers made the gruesome discovery of human flesh about 9.30pm on Friday at Mollymook Beach.
DNA testing is underway to see if the remains are linked to Ms Caddick.
Dr Mallett said if the remains are found to belong to the accused conwoman then it would be confirmation she is deceased.
"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," she said.
"We have to wait until more information if anything else is found. A foot I would be sceptical."
Ms Caddick was last seen leaving her $7 million Dover Heights home to go for a run on the morning of November 12.
Her disappearance came two days after the Australian Federal Police and Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) raided her home over allegations she was misappropriating investor funds through her finance business Maliver Pty Ltd.
The majority of her alleged victims were family members and longstanding friends, none of whom had any idea up until recently that they were being fleeced of millions of dollars.
Leaked documents, obtained by news.com.au earlier this month, showed each of the investors happily handed over their money following a "strong personal recommendation from people they trusted".
Over the years, no red flags over Ms Caddick or her business were ever raised.
Any investor who wanted to withdraw their funds had done so with ease, and on repeated occasions.
However, on Monday the Federal Court heard liquidators had found just $5600 in the 49-year-old's bank accounts, described as a "significant shortfall" between the millions investigators allege Ms Caddick owes her investors.
NSW Police Assistant Commissioner Mick Willing said Ms Caddick's family were informed on Thursday night about the discovery of her remains, leaving them "distressed" over the news.
Police still don't know how Ms Caddick's remains came to be in the water or how long she may have died after her disappearance.
"At this point we can't rule out anything. We have kept an open mind, however given the circumstances of her disappearance, the fact she left personal belongings behind, we have always considered the possibility that she may have taken her own life but that is a matter for the coroner," Assistant Commissioner Willing said on Friday.
Originally published as Expert's wild Melissa Caddick theory